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What is your perception of leaders who use buzzwords?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 170,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: What is your perception of leaders who use buzzwords?

  • They sound ridiculous and lose all credibility: 47.2%
  • It’s distracting, but they can still get their point across: 40.65%
  • I don’t mind when they use buzzwords: 9.19%
  • It helps make their communication clearer via shared language: 2.96%

Stop the madness. About 88% of us are not fans of buzzwords. If that’s the case, why are they still so pervasive? Clearly, we all see the problem; we just need to step up and stop it. I implore all of you in the 88% to stop using the words (even occasionally) and, when you hear others use them, provide feedback as appropriate or ask them to speak plainly or more clearly. We all want to be “authentic” and “genuine” as leaders — the first place we should start is eliminating words that make us seem superficial and boorish.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”