This video from Avaya is hilarious!
That said, there was a time when I would not have found it nearly as funny as I do today.
Within seconds, this video transported me back to my jargon-laden corporate days. Without exception, every company I’ve worked at had its own culture and accompanying organisation-wide vocabulary, every industry its own jargon and every specific role required me to adopt both. I’ll admit it. I was guilty of “socialising an idea”, “netting it out”, and “thinking outside the box”, “running things up the flagpole” and “agitating with facts and data”.
Trust me when I say that in the communications and marketing arena, this practice is endemic. It’s commonplace and lures newbies easily into its grasp, tapping into their desire to fit in.
A requisite amount “corporate speak” is valuable and necessary to ensure that you and your co-workers are all “singing from the same song sheet”. And, yes, language has to evolve to remain relevant. And, admittedly, every culture, even a corporate one, will refine language to represent itself more clearly.
I think there’s a fine line between the amount of “lingo” an environment needs to be effective and the amount that makes its people sound like a full-fledged “wanker”! After that limit is reached, this talk just sounds like ego-laden, pompous discourse that isolates clients and makes them feel ignorant and uncomfortable because they don’t understand the latest “lingo” – which, come to think of it, may well be its goal in the first place. Sound “smart”, make clients feel “ignorant”, offer them a solution, and, “tada”, easy sale!
It’s amazing what a bit of distance can do to provide perspective.
Sometimes it’s in extricating yourself from an environment that you are finally able to see its ridiculousness and gain some objectivity. Thankfully, this is where I have landed as a result of freelancing. I no longer have to exist in a superficial lingo-filled corporate echo chamber. This is yet another benefit I have experienced being an independent freelancer.
I have been able to “lose the lingo” and am much more of a straight talker, straight thinker and straight doer now. For a marketer that can be a tough call, but for an effective communicator, it’s a necessity.
These benefits aren’t just realised by me, my clients are also gaining from this enlightened but focused perspective.
So, if you’re looking for frank communications or marketing solutions that use clear language and aren’t jargon laden, repetitive drivel, perhaps you should consider a freelancer who has shed the corporate-speak and tossed away the ego that goes with it.
Maybe it’s time to find a service provider who concentrates instead on understanding you, your business, your challenges and offers clear and direct solutions that aren’t “trendy” but, those that are right for you, using language that you and your customers actually understand.
How much “lingo” is in your provider’s “wheelhouse”? When you really “unpack it” and take that “30,000 foot view”, how much of their service is, “mission critical” and how much of it is “disincentivizing” for you?
Maybe it’s time you, “played hardball” and “put your feelers out” got rid of all that “sideways energy” and looked for another a provider with a different “value proposition”.
Maybe it’s time for a freethinking freelancer!