I must have looked puzzled, my colleague stopped trying to explain to me and said; “Let’s circle back on this”.
Circle back. It’s not a new term, I can find references to it online from 2009. But this was the first time I’d heard it in the wild.
He could have as easily said “let’s talk about this next week”, with the same meaning. But not quite the same feel or tone.
The Urban Dictionary gives the definition of “circle back” as
Middle-management buzzword for the need to discuss an issue at a later time.
It usually means we just had a meeting where nothing was accomplished, and we need to ‘circle back’ to have another pointless meeting,
I doubt my colleague was trying to make such a strong point, the sense I had was more “we can’t answer this now, let’s agree to do the research and see if we can answer it when we meet next week”.