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Subject: Management Speak

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: That's very interesting.
TRANSLATION: I disagree.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: "I don't disagree."
TRANSLATION: "I disagree."

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: I don't totally disagree with you.
TRANSLATION: You may be right, but I don't care.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: You have to show some flexibility.
TRANSLATION: You have to do it whether you want to or not.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: We have an opportunity.
TRANSLATION: You have a problem.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: You obviously put a lot of work into this.
TRANSLATION: This is awful.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: In a perfect world.
TRANSLATION: Just get it working and get it out the door.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: Help me to understand.
TRANSLATION: I don't know what you're talking about, and I don't think you
do either.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: You just don't understand our business.
TRANSLATION: We don't understand our business.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: You need to see the big picture.
TRANSLATION: My boss thinks it's a good idea.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: My mind is made up. I am adamant on the subject. There is
no room for discussion. But if you do want to discuss it further, my door is
always open.
TRANSLATION: &%^$ you.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: I appreciate your contribution. TRANSLATION: @#%* you!

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: We're going to follow a strict methodology here.
TRANSLATION: We're going to do it my way.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: I didn't understand the e-mail you said you sent. Can you
give me a quick summary?
TRANSLATION: I still can't figure out how to start the e-mail program.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: Cost of ownership has become a significant issue in
desktop computing.
TRANSLATION: We want all of the benefits and none of the costs.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: We have to leverage our resources.
TRANSLATION: You're working weekends.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: Individual contributor.
TRANSLATION: Employee who does real work.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: Your project is on hold.
TRANSLATION: We've put a bullet in it.

TRANSLATION: You didn't tell me what I wanted to hear.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: You needed to be more proactive.
TRANSLATION: You should have protected me from myself.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: I'd like your buy-in on this.
TRANSLATION: I want someone else to blame when this thing bombs.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: We want you to be the executive champion of this project.
TRANSLATION: I want to be able to blame you for my mistakes.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: We need to syndicate this decision. TRANSLATION: We need
to spread the blame if it backfires.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: We have to put on our marketing hats.
TRANSLATION: We haveto put ethics aside.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: It's not possible. It's impractical. It won't work.
TRANSLATION: I don't know how to do it.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: It's a no-brainer.
TRANSLATION: It's a perfect decision for me to handle.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: I'm glad you asked me that.
TRANSLATION: Public relations has written a carefully phrased answer.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: I see you involved your peers in developing your proposal.
TRANSLATION: One person couldn't possibly come up with something this

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: There are larger issues at stake.
TRANSLATION: I've made up my mind so don't bother me with the facts.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: I'll never lie to you.
TRANSLATION: The truth will change frequently.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: Our business is going through a paradigm shift.
TRANSLATION: We have no idea what we've been doing, but in thefuture we
shall do something completely different.


MANAGEMENT SPEAK: Human Resources.
TRANSLATION: A bulk commodity, like lentils or cinder blocks.

MANAGEMENT SPEAK: The upcoming reductions will benefit the vast majority of
TRANSLATION: The upcoming reductions will benefit me.

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1,822 Posts
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Mgmt speak: "I hear you"

Translation: "I'm not listening"

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I remember a Dilbert strip which had the spiky haired boss holding forth in the staff meeting, something like this:

"You know we say that our employees are our greatest resource? Well I've had the matter thoroughly investigated and it turns out not to be true. Money is our greatest resource. Our employees came in at ninth on the list."

Someone asks, "What is number eight?"

Reply, "Carbon paper".

Very sad and very true. :p
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