While English is the main business language in our country and in most international business setups, within the English language, there are major variations. In some companies, they have almost invented their own version of the English language.
They have developed their own ‘corporate speak’ to such an advanced level that it almost becomes another language on its own. How should you approach such a scenario? How should you behave in such an environment? Should you also use corporate speak or not?
We will choose to be a bit progressive on this one! A little ‘corporate speak’ will do you more good than harm and, therefore, on balance, it is better and safer to align with some degree of ‘corporate speak.’ In corporate speak, there is a careful selection of words for particular meanings. Words are selected and sentences framed to drive the point home, to sound nice and to manage the understanding of the targeted audience.
For example, if some key performance indicators are reduced, masters of corporate speak will say “we adjusted the KPI” rather than saying “we reduced the KPI.”
Now, why should you really bother about corporate speak? Does it really add value to your communication?
To begin with, if everyone is using corporate speak, you need a bit of it to align, gain the backing and support of others and to command respect of a true professional. If you do not use a bit of corporate speak while everyone else does so, you will feel and look very different from the rest. Additionally, this gap between you and the rest of the company that use corporate speak, may grow bigger with time which does not help much.
Corporate speak helps you to command and project your message with professionalism, influence and power. The powerful communication that comes from corporate speak will make others to view you much more favourable that the case without any or poor corporate speak.
But how do you master corporate speak? The best way is the simple and easy way-listen, emulate and practise. When you hear corporate speak, you will notice it. You may also decide to emulate it next time you are to say something similar. If you keep practising corporate speak, then with time you will quickly master it.
Now, let us calibrate this appropriately. The rise and shine column is not advancing use of complicated and difficult words and sentences. We should at all times try to keep communication simple and easy to understand and follow. If you are saying something that sounds rather difficult or complicated, try listening to it yourself. If you cannot understand or comprehend the statements, it means that your target audience will also not understand and so there is no need to use that kind of communication.
We in the rise and shine fraternity do not believe in easy targets or simple goals. We believe in stretched targets and tough goals. And so, in the same spirit, if you master the existing corporate speak at your organisation, you can proceed to become a little creative and contribute towards the development of ‘healthy corporate speak’ at your organisation.
For those that want to rise and shine, it is important to align with current waves. One way of doing so is by joining the band wagon of corporate speaks. If you have not yet learnt any of it, then perhaps this is the time to learn a bit of corporate speak so that you can use some of it. Good luck! n