How dropping the jargon will help you get to the point.

By Luke Sklar and Amber Hudson

Here’s the scenario:  Jim is meeting with his boss Dave for his annual review.  The conversation goes something like this:

Dave (boss):  Thanks Jim for agreeing to come in to dialogue off line. 

I have drafted a deck highlighting your performance. Here’s a hard copy.  The net-net is you’ve had a banner year creating a win-win with your clients.  You’ve clearly made a step change, ramping up your proactive leadership style, resulting in a positive impact on the business. 

But I’m going to be above-board with you.  I’ve taken a stab at building a strawman model for your next year’s plan and your centres of excellence.  There is some white space and I think we can leverage our resources to assist in the development of your core competencies.  Here are the action items and deliverables.  There’s some low-hanging fruit that will help you get more granular in your client plans and allow you to drill down into the specifics that you want to bring to the table.

Jim: (Dude, WTF?)  Okay.  Thanks.

How many times have you sat in a meeting and heard similar ridiculousness?  How many times have you uttered such ridiculousness yourself…in public?  I’ll (wo)man up and admit it.  I’ve totally said many of these words.  I’ve even used them in these very blog posts.  And I hate myself for it.  Here`s how the conversation should have gone:

Dave:  Thanks Jim for coming in.  Here`s a copy of your annual review.  You`ve done  a great job, your clients trust and respect you and the business results show it.  Of course, there`s room for improvement.  Let`s work on a plan.  Great job Jim.  Now let`s go celebrate with a beer.

Kerry just wrote an awesome blog about swearing in the work place.  The post says there are times when swearing is appropriate.  We’re taking a stance and saying it’s NOT OKAY TO USE JARGON.  Experts say using jargon shows you’re in the know, part of a club.  We say using jargon makes people look like Ken and Barbie dolls trying to look smart.  Cut…that…out folks! We want to start a movement where people speak clearly and get to the point with NORMAL words and phrases…where people keep it real.

Come on folks, who’s with me!   At SW+A we`re starting a Jargon Jar. Anyone busted has to cough up a loonie (and all the funds will go to our Light The Night fund raising efforts).The lesson:  whether you’re speaking to a co-worker or a consumer, be clear, be real.  Don`t hide behind jargon – just say it like it is.