(Buy-In is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
One of the most annoying aspects of the overuse of buy-in – as in, “Do we have your buy-in?” – is that the person asking this question only wants to know if you agree with them; they’re not looking for a monetary commitment of any kind.
It’s a complete misuse of the term!
The actual definition of buy-in (or simply “buy in” without the hyphen) includes some payment for some share of a possession or right. In other words, buy-in is a full-on commitment that most often includes an exchange of funds.
When your typical manager asks for your buy-in, they’re just checking to see if you like the new overtime policy or where they decided to move the coffee maker. Hardly situations where more than a simple agreement is required.
If you’re looking for an agreement, ask for an agreement. If you seek a commitment, ask for a commitment. When you ask for someone’s buy-in, you think you sound like a savvy businessperson, while the rest of us know you’re just a dolt.
Replacement phrases: Agreement; Commitment
See also: Burn the Boats; Hammer it Out
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon