Do you speak corporate shorthand?

August 24, 2011

When you visit lots of different organizations, as executive coaches do, you observe conversations that seem to be in new, arcane languages. That’s because corporate teams and business partnerships frequently use corporate shorthand. They know each other well and want to communicate efficiently, hence the acronyms and code words.

What’s amazing isn’t how or why corporate shorthand arises, but its liabilities. When I ask the speakers to decode what’s been said, they often have entirely different understandings of the terms and expectations.

Are you speaking corporate shorthand in your organization? It’s okay if you are, provided that you regularly revisit these terms, so that everyone is operating with the same understanding. Otherwise, you’re likely to have some unexpected consequences and some finger-pointing.

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