If I ever go back into management one of the rules I'd enforce is "the dinner table rule"; that is, in a meeting, you can only use words you would use with your family at the dinner table. For example:

  • I've never given my children an "action item".
  • Finishing your meal is not a "deliverable".
  • Dessert is not a "value add".
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy do not have "synergy".

And yet, despite the lack of such a rich vocabulary, we're still able to go around the table and hear about everyone's day, discuss what we're doing for the rest of the evening, and even plan for the future.

So what, exactly, do those words add? Nothing, and thus - "The dinner table rule".

Mashed potatoes and gravy do not have "synergy"
Then you need better gravy. ;) (But more seriously, I like that idea.)

Posted by Eric on 2007-05-23