Perhaps you’re in a meeting where your CEO is explaining a strategic reorientation (layoff), or a sales manager is trying to justify an unexpectedly tricky third quarter (unrealistic sales targets), or a product manager is detailing why customers aren’t engaging with the new features yet (poor design processes) . You know it as soon as you hear it.
You try hard not to raise an eyebrow whilst you immediately message a bunch of people about how hilarious it is that they expect you to just believe this stuff.
But that’s other people. When you’ve got some difficult or complicated news to convey, you do it clearly and honestly. Sure, sometimes you fudge around the edges, and talk about synergies, alignment and moving forward, but you’re pretty sure no-one notices.
A recent study has (and we’re so happy to put this in print) ‘evaluated the psychometric properties of the Organizational Bullshit Perception Scale’ and found that workers consistently perceived bullshit where it existed in their workplaces.
Specifically they noted three areas.
The extent that their place of work either accepts or rejects bullshit practices
The extent that their bosses use bullshit
The extent that bullshit is communicated at work through corporate jargon and acronyms.