It doesn’t matter if you are inside or outside “corporate America.” We have all experienced and even used corporate lingo in some capacity. What do these words mean? Some of the them, like “circle back,” are relatively specific and seem self-explanatory. Others, like “synergy” and “synergize,” are generic and vague, but are used at an incredibly high rate. In fact, these words are used so often and have become such a staple on Zoom calls, people don’t even know what they are supposed to mean. Real life example. Like, this really happened to me recently on a business conference call:
Person leading the call: Ok guys, so we just need to align on the outcomes and then synergize the outcomes
(I sat there silent, thinking that I should probably know what this person meant by “synergize the outcomes.” So I stayed silent.)
Person leading the call: Does anyone have any questions about how we will synergize the outcomes?
(I sat silent again, not wanting to be the idiot who didn’t know how to synergize the outcomes, but I finally cracked. I had no idea how to synergize much of anything, so i really was clueless when it came to synergizing the outcomes. So I spoke up.)
Me: Uhhh, what do you mean by “synergize the outcomes.” To be more specific, how are we defining “synergize” in this context?
(There was a brief pause on the Zoom call and the person looked a little confused, and I was waiting for them to say “how could you not know this by now?”)
Person leading the call: That’s a great question. (another pause as they were trying to come up with an answer) I really don’t know how to answer.
Moral of the story – this person used the lingo because they didn’t know what else to say. They heard someone else say “synergize” or “synergies” a million times and just assumed that we all knew what “synergize the outcomes” meant. But they had ZERO clue what they were talking about.
To celebrate the corporate synergies in our lives, I put together this graphic, which gives each of us a wonderful corporate lingo sentence to forever attach to your name. Feel free to throw out your sentence on any call in the future. Let us know if it was just accepted on the call, or if someone asked you to explain what the hell you mean by “I need to get alignment so I can cascade the value add.” In homage to my synergizing conversation, the word “synergize” is on here twice, because it is THAT important to synergize the stuff.
Which corporate lingo sentence are you? Mine is “I need to bake it in so I can call out the efficiencies.”