I realized something recently.
I make myself nauseous.
With “corporate consultant speak”.
With words that sound great (because they do sound great), but really don’t mean anything. Metaphors.
And I’m going to thank a colleague for unknowingly dialing me into this terrible behavior. You see, the place she works (a place I spent several years) is f-u-l-l of self-aggrandizing people. All of them clamoring for position, rank, air-time with executives, invites to ‘the right meetings’, a title, an office, and a catapult from a respectable position at a big company to a great position in a smaller company who would surely value someone coming from an esteemed one like theirs.
And it is gross, really. I picture an ant colony when I think about it.
Here’s more ick.
She was “talking” about work and used a term I couldn’t forgive. Other terms I let roll off. But this one? Too much.
“I can’t help it if they want to be Autobots!”
Wha-? Autobots? AUTOBOTS?
She said it several times. I cringed every time.
I didn’t even know what it meant, so I looked it up. And sure enough, it doesn’t have anything to do with what her/their frustration is. Nada. But it is baked into their idiom now.
The Autobots are running rampant, and they don’t know who they are, or that they’ve garnered this great label (from the Transformers series).
Anyway, back to the point.
I’m a word guy. I love the language. I love great words. I love the illustrative, mysterious, and unexpected words; I am enamored by the pursuit of exactly the right word. It’s how I am built.
The problem is this: In order for me to communicate effectively, I must communicate in a way that people understand.
It wasn’t long ago that I started challenging people to explain their idea/thought/concept/challenge/etc. in a way that a 13 year old would understand it.
Corporate Consultant Speak doesn’t translate into 13 year old terminology.
“Like, IDK, its not even close!”
So, my challenge to you (and me) is this: Exercise communicating in the simplest, clearest of terms. Focus on the understanding, rather than on the delivery. After all, communicating is one-way, but understanding requires your audience to connect and interpret. What you want is to make sure they interpret correctly.
(And for what it’s worth, being an Autobot might be pretty awesome?!)