Jargon and Inclusion

Anthropomorphic provable truth.

Anybody know what this means?

Good, I’m very pleased there is only a small group of you out there.

I came across this term on an open forum based on healthy lifestyles. It was thrown in like: “nice weather today and the anthropomorphic provable truth is that unless it changes it will stay that way.”

I’ll give you the meaning later.

It raised in me an ire which is aroused whenever jargon is used to exclude others or flex subject specific knowledge/muscle.

In effect it is the epitome of poor communication (unless talking to those who you know absolutely understand the meaning of terms like these – and then I would ask – are you sure they do?).

I was recently in a social group of 5 men, 3 of them were trying to subtly one-up each other. Within 10 minutes I heard the use of at least 25 industry specific terms of no relevance to the other 2 of us, though absolutely meant for our ears as well. [pullquote]I never had a chance to feel excluded, I was ‘embraced’ by his humility and care.[/pullquote]

I can’t remember any of the actual discussion.

Inclusion is about meeting, caring, considering, sharing and giving up your own self importance.

The best example of inclusion I ever had was when I was late arriving to a large meeting of people and Sir Paul Reeves, who didn’t know me from a bar of soap, excused himself from the group he was holding court to and stepped out to introduce himself to me!

I was the minnow, he the master.

Yet he tipped the usual model on its head.

I felt included because of his selflessness. I never had a chance to feel excluded, I was ‘embraced’ by his humility and care.

Because of that experience I now practice two things in meeting people.

    1. If I am the ‘senior’, or a ‘senior’, in a room it is my responsibility to lead introductions and too embrace those present, particularly the new.
    2. If I am in a discussion with people I hardly know, all jargon is parked, and the conversation is kept pure and simple.

As a result I feel more secure in myself and I know ‘they’ do as well.

…And that is the Anthropomorphic provable truth.

Which is: “A Truth that we as humans have come to and can prove by our own means; i.e. scientific conclusions”

Actually I’m not sure now that it is an APT.

4 Replies to “Jargon and Inclusion”

  1. Richard,

    Powerful statement, “I never had a chance to feel excluded, I was ‘embraced’ by his humility and care.”

    You make me want to be like that. Leaders frequently like to build barriers around themselves in order to establish and protect their position. It’s a philosophy of exclusion. Thanks for demonstrating the power of inclusion.



  2. Hi Dan
    thank you for adding to this discussion. What you describe is exactly the impact Sir Paul Reeves had/has on me, what i aspire to. Like much of what we talk of in our blogs ( i also thought there was a good intersect for our posts today) it is something that is both a skill and requires effort. I’m sure you are well down the track. Warmest regards
    read Dans’ blog at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/

  3. Dear Richard,

    Today most of the people believe in using jargons and they think that this is key elements in their success. Up to certain extent, it is true especially in the management school, students expect different but using jargon disconnects from people and people start keeping distance. Those who used simple language suitable for their audience are more connected. So, one must know their audience before using jargons. I believe that beauty of communication lies in simplicity and effective leaders are simplifier. Sometimes, I think that people use jargons to show their knowledge and keep them superior than others. But the fact is that, jargons limits your boundary,lessen your relations and make you less effective.

    1. Dear Ajay thank you for your comments. I like the phrase that ‘jargon limits your boundaries’- definitely a blind spot for many – and a good way to re-frame the benefits of keeping jargon to a minimum. Warmest regards, Richard

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