How Managerial Jargon Undermines Business Communication

Jargon used in the managerial setting has both advantages and disadvantages, with negative effects usually exceeding the beneficial consequences. Here are the ways how managerial jargon undermines business communication.

  • Managerial jargon creates division between those who understand it and those who do not.  Jargon is commonly used in order for people to get along with each other in such a way that those who can't get it become left out.  This causes a rift between those who can comprehend and participate in the discussion from those who are left in the dark regarding what the jargon means.
  • Managerial jargon creates negative attitudes in those who use it.  Because jargon implies a knowledge that others do not have, it fosters a feeling of pride and smugness in the jargon user.  He may also tend to view those who don't use jargon as not keeping up with the times, unpopular, not having enough experience or knowledge thus deserving of discrimination.  It also makes people choose those who they want to talk with, thus they may not hear from those who can contribute beneficially to the business but instead mingle only with other jargon users who may not really be of help to the company.
  • Managerial jargon leaves an undesirable impression.  Managerial jargon is sometimes used in order to create cliques, encourage division and discrimination and bloat the ego of jargon users.  Though this may be used subtly, people usually recognize this thus they feel that there is something wrong about the personalities of the users and influences the way they deal with them.  Jargon non-users may also tend to withhold information from jargon users because they feel that they are covering up something by making use of hard to understand terms and phrases.
  • Managerial jargon causes misunderstanding.  Because managerial jargon is oftentimes vague and unrelated to the original subject matter, it may cause misunderstanding most especially when used unconsciously and continuously.  Some people who use jargon may expect that those they converse with understand what they are saying thus don't make any efforts in clarifying matters.  This may cause a great deal of confusion and irritation.
  • Managerial jargon is limited and impractical.  Jargon doesn't explain a lot of things and it is limited in its scope.  It also requires the users and listeners to obtain a previous exposure and acquaintance with the terminologies. Therefore, understanding the context it involves an investment of time and effort.  This is why in sensitive settings, it is best to avoid managerial jargon in order to conserve valuable resources and to eliminate mistakes resulting from miscommunication.
  • Managerial jargon changes frequently. Unlike normal conversation, managerial jargon imitates the trends of fashion in such a way that they can be modified constantly and some jargon becomes unusable.  This makes conversing using jargon unreliable and exhausting.

The use of managerial jargon can cause positive effects such as letting others know about your specialized knowledge and bond together with other people that can speak the same jargon as you.  Just take note of the disadvantages whenever you are using it in the workplace. You can learn how to speak with authority without having to resort to jargon by taking a few business communication courses online.


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