Jargon refers to terminology that is specific to an industry or a trade. These are words and phrases that people in that industry understand and others may or may not know. Every industry, every country and a lot of companies have their own jargon. Something that we need to know not just to fit in but also to understand what is going on!
- There is bound to be Jargon used in business communication. That cannot be avoided. Jargon is also never documented. That is something people are just expected to know! When you are starting out in your career or in a new industry, Jargon could be intimidating, Jargon could be confusing and Jargon could be frustrating. A colleague of mine did a brilliant thing. Every time she cam across jargon, she put it up on a spreadsheet on Google drive. If she could ask the people present what it meant, she would and add the meaning as well. If she could not, then she would find it later and update. This spreadsheet was mostly open in her browser and even during meetings, a quick search of the contents solved tonnes of mysteries. She then shared this list with other team members who were new. They leapt as if they were handed the keys to a landmine. You could do that too. After all, this is the age of crowd-sourcing!
- I mentioned jargon in the post about C for Communication post as well. We become so used to jargon after a while that we forget it is not regular language. In a business document, a glossary of terms explaining even the most basic of jargon is a best practice. In emails and the like, it is considered good etiquette to explain the jargon if the recipients are unlike to get it right away.
- Do not use Jargon as a means to confuse or sound important. I know of people who would throw in a lot of jargon in their talk, especially when they are talking to the higher ups. Let me tell you that if you are not making logical sense, then the jargon will make you seem fake.