Stop Saying "Touch Base"
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andrewCommunity member
Autoplay OFF  •  2 years ago
Can't escape the jargon in your office? Need someone to gripe to?
I've been there too. Let me buy you a coffee.

For more rants about bad business practices (and RTs of dog pics), follow me here:
twitter.com/AndrewDixonSo

Stop Saying "Touch Base"

Why office jargon is toxic by Andrew So

Touch base is vague

Every meeting should have a goal. A purpose. Something actionable that's decided upon.

It takes energy to translate

Every time you use office jargon, both you and the listener have to translate it in your heads. Communication is already one of the hardest parts of business. Why make it harder?

The problem is much deeper than jargon

It's the mindset that "this is what businesses do"

Rather than asking "What's the best process for our business?"

Jargon is a sign of bad processes

Reports that no one reads. Crowded meetings where nothing gets accomplished. Useless emails. Rolls of red tape.

Instead of talking like a "business person"

Talk like a human

Use normal words. You don't say "touch base" to your friends and loved ones do you? (I hope not)

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writeisescapeA 16 yr old who loves to write and read
a year agoReply
I love the office! Such a great show :) And good advice.

2 years agoReply
@sydney same thing happens to me but then I remember most of my friends have no idea about anything tech related other than Google, Apple, or Facebook. Oh Meerkat. I always thought it got the short end of the stick after Periscope got bought. I use an iPad Mini at home and I'm still bitter that Periscope hasn't optimized their app (whereas Meerkat has).

sydneyverifiedco-creator of Commaful
2 years agoReply
@markwilson12 this often happens with me when I think a product is mainstream because all of my close tech friends use or know it but the rest of the world has no clue what it is. Meerkat was an example of that

2 years agoReply
@sydney I don't have a problem with the word traction when it's used in the right context. When addressing users, I'd probably avoid it. With your friends, go crazy. One of the things I've noticed is that those in the tech bubble don't always speak to the average internet user and, to me, that's when communication is muddied.

sydneyverifiedco-creator of Commaful
2 years agoReply
@markwilson12 @andrew while I try not to.....I'm honestly probably guilty of using "traction" when talking to users or friends

2 years agoReply
@markwilson12 Oof. Using jargon when talking with customers is the worst, especially if they're not technical.

2 years agoReply
I received an email today from a founder that was directed to me as a user of his app that said, "[Retracted] is still an MVP, so certain features were left out to reach some traction." Sure, I know what an MVP is but I'm guessing a lot of users wouldn't have a clue. And the use of the word "traction" made me cringe. So impersonal and it made me feel like I'm simply a metric.

2 years agoReply
@sydney those are fine. But it hurts knowing there's someone in a corporate office making a PowerPoint on synergy and paradigm shifts in the economy

sydneyverifiedco-creator of Commaful
2 years agoReply
Hahaha I rememver discussing this with you and @slisam live. What do you think about "check in" or "follow up"?