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Value Creation Blog

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Jargon!

Posted by Josh Patrick

Jargon1I was having a conversation the other day with a friend and the word fiduciary came up in one of her blog posts.  Now, I love the word fiduciary.  I also love what it means (putting your clients’ interests ahead of yours and working in their best interest), but at the same time when you use a word like that you run a huge risk of putting others off.

This conversation started me thinking about how every business has it’s specialized language and how we use jargon with those who have no idea what the jargon we’re using means.  I find that when I take a little extra time to either define what the jargon I’m using means or better yet, find a different word, others receive my message much better.

The meaning of your communication is the way it’s received. 

I know I’ve said this and I bet you have also, “I told them, why don’t they understand?”  The problem with this attitude is that telling someone isn’t even the beginning of a good communication cycle.  Telling only allows you to listen to yourself.

I’ve read studies that say about 93% of our communication comes in the form of vocal tone and body language.  These same studies find that only 7% of our communications comes from words.  I find that this is where paying attention to the person you’re communicating with is important.  If you see that your message isn’t getting through (and we’ve all seen that) it’s your responsibility to try again.

The simpler your message, the happier the person is that you’re communicating with. 

Back to my friend and the use of the word fiduciary.  She liked using the word because it caused people to pause and wonder what the word meant.  I think that most won’t pause, they just move on.

Many professionals I’ve met want to impress people their with about how smart they are.  Lots of times these people will use technical jargon to let those they’re talking with know that they know their stuff and are really smart. 

For me, that’s not the point.  I believe others will figure out I’m smart enough if I can help them solve their problems.  I bet that if you help others solve problems being smart becomes a non-issue.  Great communication about listening intently and then speaking in a manner that makes it easy for others to understand what we’re trying to do.

Jargon has its uses. 

Jargon helps us communicate to others in our industry quickly and effectively in that it allows us to convey very complex issues in a word or two.  If you’re speaking with someone else in your industry, by all means jargon away.  If you’re speaking with someone from outside your industry think about using jargon or big words.  Unless your goal is to make yourself appear smart, you just might miss the mark.

And, missing the mark is something that none of us want when we communicate with others.

Speaking of jargon….we use the term passive ownership to describe a business owner who gets themselves out of the day-to-day operation of their business.  We’ve put together a mind map that outlines the steps that you would need to take to become a passive owner.  If you’re interested in taking a look at this mind map, click on the button below and we’ll be glad to provide you a copy of our passive ownership mind map


Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

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Topics: jargon, business coaching, communication

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