Want people to take your seriously? Say what you mean.

As a radio presenter, my job was to communicate clearly and to say what I meant.

Then I got a corporate job – in a government department marketing team. You can imagine my confusion. No one said what they meant. In meetings, emails and even face to face, people talked in circles.

My role was change communications for a round of redundancies – management called it ‘right-sizing’ and ‘rationalisation’. The 1,000 people who were ‘let go’, and those of us losing colleagues and friends, called it something else!

Since then, I’ve worked in a lot of large companies, in NZ and Aus, and I still find the language challenging.

Everyone’s ‘shifting paradigms’ to ‘create synergies’ so they don’t ‘boil the ocean’.

It may sound knowledgeable and ‘managerial’ but really, it’s just hiding behind buzz words.

By using jargon and buzzwords, you stop people questioning you. How can you debate with someone if you’re not sure what they said?

You may ‘win’ the conversation, but you also may lose your colleagues’ trust and buy in.

Want your colleagues to work with you? Drop the jargon and say what you really mean.

Scary? Yes it can be. Effective? Always


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