Hybrid and work-from-home culture has tremendous upsides: flexibility to sleep in when others are commuting, keeping the right snacks always stocked, and the creative license to decide what work clothes are. But there’s one serious downside. The meeting requests.
Gone are the days of hallway chats and peering over cubes to quickly collaborate on issues—whether it’s a problem with an application’s code, a recurring error, or preparing for the next release. Unfortunately, this means a booked calendar, less time to get meaningful work done, and an inundation of corporate jargon to make our eyes roll.
So, let’s have some fun and analyze the anatomy of a meeting—according to the buzzwords running them.
Initial Dread: The Invite
Not all meetings are equal. In fact, you can probably predict how painful they’ll be based on who’s invited and the type of meeting. Are you invited to a sync? That’s an 8-out-of-10 invite. Same with a 1:1 or a huddle. Whether it’s to nail out the details of a project or to catch up with your boss, any of these meetings have a purpose, even an agenda, and the ability to end early. These meetings are usually necessary and have at least some benefit.
But what about a townhall? Or an all-hands? Or corporate America's adaptation of Reddit’s AMA?
They’re probably hosted by an MBA grad on the executive team. You won’t say a word. You might even pray for an outage related to the app you work on to get out of it. We wish you the best of luck.
The Corporate Meeting Buzzword Hoopla
It’s the meetings spanning across an entire department or company that are ripe with buzzwords. It’s in these that a narrative about quarterly planning uses constant descriptions of being “data-driven” or following “best practices” (as if all teams and organizations aren’t always doing this already). These meetings are about “aligning” on a strategy to “move the needle” on business metrics. They’re hype sessions to get you to “eat the corporate-brand dog food” and “drink the champagne” of the organization.
These trendy slogans marking the business school grads are painful—but not as painful as the confirmation that a scheduled “meeting of the minds” wasn’t actually critical. The follow-up emails after are the real kicker.
“This Could Have Been an Email” Emails
No one logs into these meetings believing the important details would be hashed out later over a long email thread. It starts with an “I have a hard stop” about two minutes before the scheduled end. Then a realization that the team needs to “put a pin” in the conversation and “circle back” to the original discussion, so the conversation can be “taken offline” to later “touch base.”
It’s the new normal. But at least we can take our meetings in sweatpants, (hopefully) video off, and at home.
When we’re in our world writing scripts or tending to an alert, we’re safe from the verbal assault of all the MBA’s newest vernacular fixations. But we’re curious—when do you hear the most buzzwords in your day, and which ones are the worst? Drop them below.
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