Avoid these ‘Suit speak’ phrases
‘Suit Speak’ is a variant of ‘Management Speak’. While you want to avoid ‘Suit Speak’ and ‘Management Speak’ a more difficult navigation in the business environment is how to handle and respond to jargon words and phrases used among the ‘in-crowd’ at a meeting -whether or not they’re trying to confuse, intimidate or baffle you.
A client asked for my advice on this. He asked should he start to use a specific ‘in-phrase’ that was being bandied about in a top level meeting. (He was junior to people in the room).
My suggestions were these:
– Ask what the phrase means. Now this risks push-back if someone in the meeting believes you should know the term. However, more often, your inquiry about the phrase will help other people understand the term.
– Don’t use the phrase as a device to position yourself as one of the ‘in-crowd’.
– Use the phrase when you understand it and everyone else in a meeting does too. (That is, don’t use it to exclude people who might not understand the phrase).
– Overall, speak plainly and omit needless words.
The ‘CALL to action/HOW to apply’ for the post: Listen for ‘Suit Speak’ in your spoken messages over the next seven days and eliminate if from your speech if heard. Use jargon as a short-cut for people who know the word/phrase/acronym. Explain the jargon to those present who might not understand it.