Every organization them – whiz bang corporate jargon that’s gonna take this organization to the “next level,” “open new paradigms,” and go “totally next gen.”  What?? Toronto-based communications consultant Bart Egnal visited “First Take with Lando and Chavis” (audio posted below) to discuss his book “Leading Through Language – Choosing Words that Influence and Inspire.”  So let’s “unpack” ways to cut out the trend-speak and finally, truly communicate.

“People use jargon to sound more impressive,” begins Egnal, whose daily work is to help leaders use the spoken word more effectively.  ”They use jargon they don’t define, and sometimes they use jargon to hide what they mean.” 

Egnal lays out a spectrum of jargon, from Useful (shorthand and shared identity jargon) to Benign to Ineffective to Damaging (obfuscation jargon).  A new euphemism for being fired: “released to the market.”   

“Language can be a shield for saying something and hoping that people don’t actually get it,” explains Egnal.

And how about the indiscriminate use of acronym and initials.  ”What if that acronym had three other different meanings?  Or five?  Or eight?”  Egnal found eight expansions on the letters IPO.  He found 21 interpretations of ROI.

Steve and Rodney visit with Bart Egnal, talking jargon

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