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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Your Words Are Not Words

Be careful using corporate jargon and business-speak. People never talk like that once they leave the office. When I hear an especially “fluent” corporate jargon speaker I imagine them at the dinner table talking to their kids:

“Don’t drink the Kool-Aide at school, I am empowering you to make your own decisions when it comes to school activities because I want to ensure you stay in your own lane. Remember it is all about moving the needle with your grades. Build those core competencies because your market has lots of moving parts.”


Your customers, your counterparts, your boss should be friends, speak real to them. Stop trying to impress with your words, instead impress with your results at work.

One company I worked with loved the word construal. They kept on using it over and over while prepping for a specific customer call. I told them I have a Master's, 2 Ph.D.'s, and I had no idea what the word meant. Everyone looked at me with pity---obviously, I was stupid. 10 minutes later on the call, the customer asked them not to use the word, “We don’t know what construal means” the VP said, “it doesn’t make sense” I smiled and said nothing.

You will look back one day and make fun of yourself and the words you choose to use. Be real, be smart and be great at what you do. Then you won’t feel insecure enough to use verbal jazz hands.


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