About Why business people speak like idiots
"This is just the kind of synergistic, customer-centric, upsell-driven, out-of-the-box, customizable, strategically tactical, best-of-breed thought leadership that will help our clients track to true north. Let's fly this up the flagpole and see where the pushback is."
It's Monday. Time to hit the pause button on your personality and get ready for the next meeting because, for the next five days, we'll be speaking the language of business. And, from bloated jargon and monotonous memos, to syrupy slogans and deadly dull presentations, the official language of business is bull. The second we get to work, we join the masses who trade the wit and warmth of their voice for a corporate stamp of approval and the comfort of conformity.
Why Business People Speak Like Idiots exposes four traps that transform funny, honest and engaging weekend people into boring business stiffs:
- The Obscurity Trap: "After extensive analysis of the economic factors facing our industry, we have concluded that a restructuring is essential to maintaining competitive position. A task force has been assembled..." The Obscurity Trap catches idiots desperate to sound smart or prove their purpose, and lures them with message-killers like jargon, long-windedness, acronyms, and evasiveness.
- The Anonymity Trap: Businesses love clones - easy to hire, easy to manage, easy to train, easy to replace - and almost everyone is all too happy to oblige. We outsource our voice through templates, speechwriters and email, and cave in to conventions that aren't really even rules.
- The Hard-Sell Trap: Legions of business people fall prey to the Hard-Sell Trap. We overpromise. We accentuate the positive and pretend the negative doesn't exist.This may work for those pushing Ginsu knives and Abdominizers, but it's dead wrong for persuading business people to listen.
- The Tedium Trap: Everyone you work with thinks about sex, tells stories, gets caught up in life's amazing details, and judges everyone else by the way they look and act. We live to be entertained. We all learned that in Psychology 101, except for the business idiots who must have skipped that semester. They tattoo their long executive-sounding titles on their foreheads, dump pre-packaged numbers on their audience, and virtually guarantee that we want nothing to do with them.
But for you, this epidemic of bull and boredom is a real opportunity. All those human beings who went to work Monday morning want something better. They don't want disclaimers, non-promises, sugar-coated news or canned speeches. They want someone to capture their imagination, stir their enthusiasm and tell them the truth. And once you learn to recognize and rise above the four traps, you can be that voice they're looking for.