In a column by BRW magazine’s Leo D’Angelo Fisher today, PR people once again cop part of blame for the growing use of meaningless corporate speak. However, he rightly points out that the real cause is a failure to listen to yourself, combined with a lack of care for what others think. As we all know, listening is the important part of communication, not speaking.
Last week I attended a long meeting of senior sales managers, all terrific people and competent managers. And yet there was one manager’s presentation that I could not understand at all, despite listening intently. One phrase used frequently was “around the collaboration piece”. What does that mean? Clearly I wasn’t the only one confused, because the first question raised was ‘so what are your top 3 priorities then?’ – a nice way of saying ‘I didn’t understand your presentation at all, could you please summarise it for me?’
The irony is that by not listening to yourself and using loads of jargon, people don’t listen to you – they tune out and understand only in generalities.