Imagine you are sitting at your desk when a package arrives for you. You haven't been expecting a package, so you look at it with interest. You notice that there is a waybill with a description of the contents. You look closely at the waybill, which says:
Intrigued, you get a knife and prepare to open the package, but just before you start cutting the tape you notice a large warning label on the other side. In bright red letters it says:
You continue cutting the tape, open the package and find…this chapter.
Why does a chapter on the benefits of jargon come to you with a warning label? Simple: because though there are some benefits to using acronyms, technical terminology, and corporate-speak, such benefits are almost always overestimated and used to justify the continued use of words that fail to inspire others.
You are reading this book because you want to communicate as a leader. As you seek to influence and inspire, there are two beneficial reasons to use jargon: for expediency (to speed up communications) and to foster a shared identity (to forge culture and identity).
This chapter will look at this kind of jargon and the situations where it can be used to your benefit; this chapter will also point out the possible things that can go wrong if you do use it. But first, let's see where these ...