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Let's think outside the box and proactively kill this workplace jargon

Reading business books, listening to leadership gurus, and even perusing the help-wanted ads lately is like a hellish trip down jargon lane.

One phrase getting a lot of play lately is "critical thinker." Everyone wants one of those, it seems, even employers seeking applicants for jobs in customer services or nursing, according to several ads on Monster.com.  Job postings on CareerBuilder include requirements that everyone from accounting clerks to Aflac Insurance sales people are able to "think outside the box."

There's so much of this corporate lingo around that many employees would like to annihilate all of it.

Which are most hated terms? CareerBuilder asked more than 5,000 workers: "What corporate jargon would you like to eliminate altogether?"

The survey released this week offered this breakdown:

Outside the Box (31 percent)
Low-hanging fruit (24 percent)
Synergy (23 percent)
Loop me in (22 percent)
Best of breed (19 percent)
Incentivize (19 percent)
Mission-critical (19 percent)
Bring to the table (18 percent)
Value-add (17 percent)
Elevator pitch (16 percent)
Actionable Items (15 percent)
Proactive (15 percent)
Circle back (13 percent)
Bandwith (13 percent)
High Level (10 percent)
Learnings (9 percent)
Next Steps (6 percent)

As for critical thinkers, I'm thinking that Aflac duck may indeed be one. But Gilbert Gottfried, who was Aflac's pitch man until he got fired for joking about the Japanese tsunami, probably isn't. He does think outside the box, though.

(This post was adapted from a post that previously appeared on CareerDiva.net)