Continuing Visibility 2.0: ‘The Jargonist”
Do you recognize this person?
Margaret loves to talk about her work. She loves the lingo and can’t help talking that talk. When she is out with friends she loves to throw around the acronyms and program names. When speaking industry-speak about applications, tools or resources, she just assumes that everyone will understand. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t. When she talks jargon with friends, colleagues, fellow employees and potential employers, it makes sense — they are likely on the same page. However, if Margaret is chatting with folks outside her industry and she falls into the same short-hand language, she may find herself facing glazed-over eyes or perhaps wandering eyes — looking for someone else to chat with. She may no longer be visible.
Since being visible is essential to being successful both in her workplace as well as when she is changing jobs or careers, Margaret would be smart to:
- invite her professional colleagues to engage in a familiar discussion, where jargon is appropriate;
- use more generic or descriptive language when chatting with people unfamiliar with her field;
- use jargon and then provides an easily understandable description;
- be aware that in fact, it is disrespectful to speak a language that others do not share;
- put her attention on the person she is talking with, which will help her to develop that relationship and increase her visibility.
Being visible means paying attention and considering the language you use when telling your story, which will help you to maintain and develop new relationships.