Good jargon, bad jargon

Posted 03.20.2008

Jargon_ahead_2 Jargon is bad — we’ve all seen our share of lists that assert as much. But now comes an interesting take from strategy+business in defense of jargon, sometimes. Sure, jargon complicates what could otherwise be said simply. Or, shields those who don’t really know what they want to say in the first place. But every so often, there’s a place for it.

Money quote:

Although much maligned, jargon does have a place in the well-spoken executive’s vocabulary when it is used effectively to create a deeper level of understanding and trust. Particular words and phrases can become unique shorthand among colleagues within the same industry, company, or team.

The key, as I point out in The Next Level, is to keep your audience in mind. So, rather than settling for a one-size-fits-all approach, aim for a more custom fit to communication. How do you know you’ve successfully mastered this more tailored approach? Pay attention. If the jargon you start rattling off in your next meeting leads to quizzical faces, it’s time to rethink your communication style.