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Clearing the Jargon Haze

Clearing the Jargon Haze

May 2018

BBQ’s are great. The whole experience is just great. Standing around watching the host cook meat, while having a few drinks. Chatting about things on our mind, telling stories and sharing a laugh. They are so simple, yet offer us such pleasurable and fulfilling social experiences.

Then on Monday we put on our work clothes, our work face, our work language and jargon. My problem is that I just don’t understand half the language or jargon. I’m also suspicious that most of the people using it don’t understand it either. We seem to be living Monday to Friday in a haze of confusion and jargon, not really knowing what is going on.

One of our passions is ‘Operational Clarity’. We love working with teams and organisations to help make things clearer. It’s amazing to watch how positive and confident people become when things are clear. One secret we use to bring this change is to introduce the use of BBQ Talk.

The BBQ Talk principle is all about simple and clear communication. When chatting, telling stories and sharing a laugh at the weekend BBQ we use ‘normal language’. This ‘normal language’ helps us explain and clarify things with people from different backgrounds, industries and cultures.

The aim of BBQ Talk is to be able to discuss business matters using language that could be used at a BBQ (maybe minus the swearing). Adopting the BBQ Talk principle provides two challenges. First, it tests if you truly understand the topic you are discussing. Secondly, it tests how well you understand the intended audience.

I have found using BBQ Talk very effective when discussing matters with; clients, boards, stakeholders and cross discipline management teams. I also use this principle when introducing a discussion with technical staff. Once the introduction has been completed and you can confirm that they have ‘caught your message’ (refer -Hey, catch this). You can then safely move into your normal industry jargon.

The other aspect of BBQ Talk that I enjoy is how discussions gain new emotion and energy. They come alive! Just like the funny story you heard at the last BBQ you went to.

Can I challenge you to adopt the BBQ Talk principle? Discuss the principle with some of your work mates and agree to keep encouraging each other to use BBQ Talk. But, as a word of caution do not use the following sentence when discussing BBQ Talk with your work mate. “I have just encountered a paradigm shift that will clear the jargon haze and deliver significant triple bottom line benefits.” Do not ever use this sentence!

At Joseph Consulting we are passionate about making business real and fulfilling. Please call Joseph Consulting if you’d like to catch up for a coffee and chat about your business.


Jason Gallagher
Director, Joseph Consulting

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