This is my first post to this list:
Rick Everett got me thinking about the other side of the jargon
issue--when I'm in the audience. Sometimes if I think a speaker is
using jargon that is losing the group I take it upon myself to ask
the first "dumb question"--you know, "Excuse me but what does XYZ
stand for?" Usually I believe that I hear a collective sigh of
relief. Hopefully that will loosen up the group to also ask
questions but not always--if not then I just keep asking.
Of course, jargon isn't always just the newest TLA (Three letter
acronym) sometimes it is a word or phrase used with a special
meaning. Once, years ago, at a seminar the facilitator kept saying "Let's
process that." Our group was unfamiliar with that use of the word
and really did tune out the content of the seminar. After all this
time the only thing I remember was the over use of the word
We have one man here at work that speaks only in jargon--acronyms,
numbers, words that only his small group would understand. He
speaks this way at staff meetings with the managers and the director.
When I've been there to hear him, I know that I don't understand him
and I'm sure no one else does either but they all nod knowingly. One
time the director, who loves to toy with people, egged him on by
asking questions to see how long he could keep it up. I giggled when
I realized the joke that was being played, but everyone else (the
managers) remained dead serious. The fear of appearing to "not be in
the know" is a very powerful force.
P.S. Since I'm new, let me introduce myself as quickly as I can.
I lead a training group (technical, safety, etc.) at a field site for
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space. I read the Fifth Discipline a few
years ago when we were initiating a TQM effort here. I got very
excited about it but my excitement has outlived the initiative here.
I'm also the mother of a kindergartener and since I seem unable to
influence my company any further, I'm starting in on the school.
When I see the methods of teaching that my daughter's teacher
uses I'm very impressed--I'm looking for ways to carry those methods
out into life-long learning experiences.
Thanks for listening,