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Remove the jargon & increase understanding

Spice down your
company communications

Being more selective with your communications can lead to greater collaboration

Published: 04/07/2024
Paul Nicholson Communications

Paul Nicholson

Operations & Sales Director

Clear communication is vital in any organisation. Yet in some fields, technical and complex language is often equated with expertise.

Surely, with business leaders looking for any opportunity to be ever-more efficient, simplifying terminology could be an area that is being overlooked. Put simply, is the jargon warranted?

While the Spice Girls enthusiastically urged all of us to Spice Up Your Life, in the field of communications, arguably it’s better to keep things as plain as possible. Why? Well in my experience, when you keep things simple, you’re more likely to implement and deliver projects on time and to budget. More recently, time spent in the world of IT has shown me just how complex some of the terminology can be and the impact that can have on results.

Commercial supply IT equipment to staff in 23 countries across Europe, including smart technology to companies like Oracle. We’ve had to master many languages, but learning to communicate complex IT concepts in a way that can be understood by everyone has been one of the hardest steps of all. That’s IT, short for Information Technology, a common acronym that we all use, but the same can’t be said for some of the more complicated technical jargon and acronyms out there.

It can be a steep learning curve for anyone, often creating barriers to understanding, collaboration and innovation. Prioritising clear communication is crucial for teamwork, even if Posh and Sporty disagree!

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Can’t Explain It Simply?

As we all know, being able to get your point across to a wide range of individuals, ranging from novices with limited technical knowledge to field experts with years of experience, is a cornerstone of any successful professional communications.

In fact, I believe Albert Einstein once said, “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. Whether you believe those words ring true or not, it’s certainly something to consider in this fast-paced, increasingly interconnected world.

That’s not to say we need to take a cookie cutter approach to everything, lest we risk diminishing the role of more experienced colleagues. It’s key not to undermine the importance of experts and their subject knowledge, while also encouraging them to demystify the subject in order to ensure the right response.

This applies to whether they are providing support e.g. helpdesk & field engineers or asking for support e.g. in tenders, pitches and requests.

if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough

Albert Einstein

Understanding Your Crowd

For me, being able to bridge the gap between technical and non-technical teams means we see the benefits of when 2 become 1. The impact of greater alignment and shared understanding of your business could be substantial.

So how do we achieve that balance? I’ve put plenty of thought into this and while I don’t believe in teaching granny to suck eggs, I thought I’d share some of the easier quick wins. Admittedly you may have already thought about them, in which case I would argue implementation and consistency are crucial. You can ease understanding across your business by sifting through your language and getting rid of terms which may not be suited to every level of knowledge. You might wish to say “restart” instead of “reboot”, give a quick definition of the term ‘white space’ or avoid these words altogether.

By cutting out convoluted language and ambiguous phrases, you avoid masking your true intentions and putting individuals both outside your organisation and within, at a disadvantage. The positive impact of clarity in discussions upon your IT department, wider company and business culture as a whole can be transformative.

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The Benefits of Simplicity

As old Albert alluded to, the ability to talk about complex technological concepts in layman’s terms is a skill in and of itself. By avoiding confusing acronyms or technical jargon, we can promote clarity and comprehension across diverse audiences.

Removing IT jargon is a simple and effective way to show how highly your company values diversity and inclusion. Simplifying your language will encourage wider participation in discussions and decisions.

Using acronyms without a clear definition should be an absolute no-no when it comes to communications, and that goes double for complex, subject-specific jargon. Instead of forcing your colleagues to spend valuable time frantically Googling definitions, it can be helpful to take the extra time yourself to ensure your message is coming across in the clearest and simplest of terms.

People from diverse backgrounds and departments need to be able to contribute meaningfully to the conversation to get the best results. Technical and non-technical people should be able to pick up IT proposals and understand them, with any acronyms clearly defined in easy-to-understand terminology. You can achieve greater success in your projects, safe in the knowledge that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

Better Clarity, Better Communications

At Commercial, we prioritise clear and inclusive communications in all our IT solutions. For us, clarity is not just a goal, it’s our commitment to empowering everyone to make informed decisions and drive meaningful changes in the digital landscape.

A jargon-wary workplace and the democratisation of IT discussions can unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity and success. Being able to articulate your aims, complex processes and concepts effectively will result in more effective problem-solving and enhanced project outcomes.

Does your IT provider communicate with you clearly? Could you be communicating more effectively with your colleagues? It’s important to take all your stakeholders (if you’ll allow me that one) along for the journey with you by being clear and easily understandable. So, if you *ahem* Wannabe a business that communicates effectively, then you need to spice down your vocabulary. It’s time to unlock the full potential of our IT initiatives by speaking a language everyone can understand.

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