Thursday, December 01, 2005

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots

I again got this book from Garr Reynolds's suggested readings. He does have a lot of great titles there, and they're all fairly new, which is good for me since I spend a lot of time reading oldies. Anyhow, I think if you read a book like this you're going to judge your performance and continually ask yourself if you're an idiot. The three authors go pretty rough on people, calling them "business idiots" all through the book. And, chances anyone who does a lot of communicating in a professional environment will be partially idiotic, so be forewarned.

But that's okay because one of the authors admits to being a former idiot, infatuated with business jargon and using such terms as "thought leadership," "value-added," and "monetize." So I did do a little bit of a self-inventory and found that I have let some jargon creep into my speech and writing. I have to admit, it is a combination of factors: a) I have two degrees in French literature, the goal of which was to go on at length about fairly simple topics; and b) I read a lot of academic business writing. But no excuses here, I shall endeavor to communicate with greater clarity of thought in the future.

However, the other theme of the book is authenticity, which I think I do pretty good at. They observe that it's basically easy to "score points," if you are authentic because so few people do it. I have observed this same phenomenon and it's really quite fascinating. It does tend to scare people off a little bit, so you have to be very self-confident. That's what they wrote and I have independently verified it.

Seriously, though I thought the book was a great read and is quite entertaining if you're willing to go along for a little introspection.

There was a great approach to convincing people of things that I think I'll try to put into practice. More to come...

By Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway and Jon Warshawsky
ISBN# 0743269098