Avoiding business jargon makes leaders more relatable

Avoiding business jargon makes leaders more relatable

One pet peeve of mine is when leaders speak in business jargon. You see this a lot at conferences and networking events where everyone repeats buzzwords, initials or acronyms to sound more intelligent, but this language is used to disguise the fact that people really don’t understand what the hell they’re talking about half the time. And the more we hear this nonsense spoken, the more we get seduced to repeat it. Most of the time, people who are listening are scared to ask what is meant by those words because they don’t want to look dumb.

The irony is that we spend so much time reading management books and learning how to connect better, as well as be more authentic and vulnerable. Yet using bullshit cringeworthy business jargon doesn’t do any of that. In fact, it can create an exclusionary environment that impedes collaboration and leads to miscommunication when language is imprecise or ambiguous. Newcomers to the business world may feel left out if they don’t understand or speak jargon. It’s kind of like a secret handshake and competition to come up with the most vague, complicated or fancy word to describe something.

Overusing jargon prevents meaningful connections from forming among team members. It also makes conversations sound sterile and soulless. When speaking, the goal is to be understood by a wide audience. Clarity is effective communication. If you want to be perceived as trustworthy and relatable, then speak in a simple, easy-to-understand way. Don’t understand what leaders are saying? Call them out in a non-judgmental but curious way, and please share your favorite examples of business jargon in the comments space below.

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