May 2023
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TD Magazine

Word Wiz: Circle Back

Monday, May 1, 2023

You need something from a colleague. Maybe there's a lingering issue that needs solving. Perhaps you have an idea that you want to run up the chain of command. So, you send an email and get the all-too-familiar response: "Let's circle back to that."

According to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans by Preply, a tutoring marketplace for language learning, "circle back" ranked as the top piece of workplace jargon workers could do without. Given the phrase's implications (to discuss the issue later), it makes sense that people would be frustrated.


How often do you get the opportunity to circle back on that issue or idea and reach a timely solution? You know the answer to that. The phrase may be more annoying than it is harmful, but it slows things down for you all the same. And if you're like other workers, you would love to never hear about the need to circle back again.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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