Brain Chatter: Washing Jargon Out of Your Mouth

July 15, 2016 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, Content Editor

Hi all,

 

I’d really like to organize a time for us to really double-down and dial into this always-on thought leader that I follow. Her core competency is definitely aligned with our goals. I think we’ll all be able to leverage her advice and synergize together on her thoughts. With her help, we might be able to really disrupt the system!

 

Signed,

I Have No Idea What I’m Saying

If you’re wondering what just happened, so are we. Is “double-down” some kind of new, intense kind of duvet that you can get at Ikea? Is “synergize” the crazy-bad-for-you energy drink kids are hooked on nowadays?

Who knows, really. They could be. They could also be something else. What we definitely know is that they’re all just jargon; fluffy buzzwords that encourage run-on sentences and challenge the strengths of even the greatest speaker’s articulation skills.

In the nature of being clear and upfront, here’s our statement on jargon: it’s a collection of completely useless words that don’t contribute to or inform any advanced thinking.

Let’s “deep-dive” on this.  

They’re trendy words that someone sitting in a plush leather office chair decided would be really good to encompass an idea and perhaps even place after a hashtag. We unfortunately can’t confirm whether or not maniacal laughing was a part of the creation process here.

The scary problem with “buzzwords” is that they ruin clarity. They promote confusion, trash simplicity and unnecessarily sugar-coat what could be sharp thoughts.

Why make things complicated? There’s truly no need to “circle-back” here.

Not everyone may be well-versed with this jargon (thank goodness). Some people may not interpret words the same as others. The end result is often confusion and missed details, all for a few extra syllables.

Have we “onboarded” you to the issue yet? If not, apologies. We’ll try to be more “forward-thinking.”

Truthfully, jargon is a sign of the exact opposite of what most people want the words to demonstrate. It signifies uncertainty. People use unclear words because they are unclear about their thoughts. It’s the age old idea of dangling something fancy to distract from reality. Danger alert!

So don’t “drill-down” together, no one here is in construction. Have a meeting to sit down and brainstorm. It’s not “aligning” your goals, it’s making sure that everyone understands each other and that everyone is at the same stage. A leveller won’t help.

The answer to this all is pretty simple. Just say stuff with plain words. Intelligence and insight is demonstrated through actions, not spin. Know what you mean and say it. No one is judging you. In fact, they’re relieved because they won’t have to sit silently wondering what is going on.

Not only this, but in the Battle for Time everyone wants to be different. There’s no better differentiator than words. Still, people all sound the same. They all so desperately want to win minutes that they just want to be the best at saying the same thing.

“Dynamic” thinking, we know.

Would you steal someone else’s business plan? No. So why steal their words? Use your own word. Come up with a way to stay real and sound unique without using words that gloss over the goods. There are two words that sum this up: be real.

You’ll save time, remain focused and stay real with your audiences. After all, it’s not just your colleagues that have to listen to you. Your customers do too.

Phew. Glad we could put this simply.  

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