Get rid of the jargon in your communications

Jargon is far too commonly heard across the workplace. We are all culprits of using it at times, particularly if there is a ‘buzzword’ doing the rounds. But your colleagues, your peers and your employees can be left confused and uninspired when it becomes the norm to communicate in jargonese. Ultimately, you’re failing to get your ideas across.

The language of leadership is free of jargon

An effective leader will reject jargon in favour of language that clearly conveys their ideas. When we work with business owners, and teams within organisations, we encourage them to only use language that explains their thinking precisely. Here are a few pointers for getting rid of the jargon when you communicate:

1. Use clear language

Make a conscious choice to avoid jargon – be clear, concise and positive. This will mean your ideas come across with clarity and economy.

It takes courage to challenge the the status quo. Using the jargon or technical language of your workplace brands you as an expert and an insider. So if you ask others to define their particular terminology, it can seem to (initially) weaken your expert status.

2. Substance (not jargon)

Turn a harsh spotlight on the words you use to determine which ones can be replaced with something more meaningful.

Here’s an example – instead of saying “We need to solution for our human capital maximisation strategy,” a better way would be, “We need to find a way to make our employees more productive.”

Replacing jargon does not mean sacrificing substance.

3. Remove unnecessary words

Sometimes the only way of communicating clearly is to cut out the jargon completely. A successful leader will strip away all excess jargon because they want their messages to be understood.

4. Define any terms you need to use

The only time when it’s acceptable to use jargon is when everyone in your audience knows what you are trying to say.

If you have a word that can be used to replace a collective set of ideas, then use it – but only if you define it and ensure everyone knows what it means.

The same goes for acronyms. When you join a new company, you often spend the first few months trying to learn what the acronyms mean. So if you want to lead when you speak, get rid of the jargon and replace it with clarity. Your audiences will thank you.