Do you depend on professional speak to make you appear credible to listeners? You know, discipline-specific terminology or buzz words which often comprise over 50% of professional conversations.
If so, you assume the people listening to you, either in person or virtually, are impressed with your command of discipline-specific words. And that, once impressed, you also assume these influencers and decision makers will buy into whatever product, service or solution you are selling, pitching or proposing.
If you are trying to get people to “Yes” and they keep telling you “No” or remain ambivalent about your communications, both written, verbal and visual, professional speak is hampering you.
In addition, these assumptions about professional speak impact productivity, profitability, colleague and employee experience and customer experience, as well. And not necessarily as positively as you think.
Why assume that professional speak is expected of you, in the first place?
Regardless of your professional discipline, when you assume listeners expect you to “sound” a certain way, you do yourself a great disservice.
- Initially, you stereotype yourself. If you do not use professional speak, in your mind, you do not act or speak professionally. Are you equating word choices with professional credibility?
- Next, you stereotype the folks listening to you. You assume they understand what you say. What if listeners do not understand you, or use the same words differently than you?
- Finally, are you self-focused? When professional speak is all about reinforcing professional credibility, listeners become biased. They feel marginalized or completely excluded from the conversation.
Could it be that the reason decision makers and peers listen to you, in the first place, is that they already respect the value you bring to their tables? In spite of your professional speak. Except they wish they could ask you to stop being so self-invested in professional speak to “show off” what you know.
Because the more they understand, the more your professional value increases. To each other.
When people cannot understand what you are saying, they cannot understand what you can do: with them and for them. Take the next steps towards purpose-driven professional success: yours and theirs.
- Is it time for your team to become more successful presenting during meetings of peers and cross-functional buyers, investors? Engage me to break down communication barriers.. Contact me here.
- Download my new checklist and worksheet: Six Professional Development Targets to Hit each Month.
- Subscribe to my blog. Share your email address in the red box in the right column of this blog. Never miss another insightful post.
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset® Storytelling Speaking Programs, Workshops and Facilitation Services leverage storytelling for STEM professionals and left brain thinkers to catalyze employee and customer success and retention. Combine courage, curiosity and critical thinking skills to co-create compelling stories which inspire trust in one another. Especially in industries with STEM and left-brain stakeholders.
Find out more about Babette’s professional story here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform. Contact Babette here.
Image source: Adobe Stock