Cutting out jargon terms from everyday language will help you collaborate and engage with peers across your organization
Getting your point across succinctly is an important skill for both emerging and established leaders, but it can be a particularly tricky skill to master for those in IT. Because of the technical nature of the field we often use vague terms and language in an attempt to explain something to non-technical individuals, or simply to make a point. While those in IT might know enough about the underlying technology to make sense of all the jargon, it’s often lost on everyone else.
Another reason these terms sneak into our everyday vocabulary, especially as we grow into leadership positions, is the pressure to “sound smart.” In reality, using a lot of vague terms is simply a way to lose the attention of your audience. Making a clear business case without using jargon terms is the fastest way to collaborate with other leaders.
If you’ve worked in the IT industry for any length of time, you’re certain to know at least a few accomplished technologists who became project managers, directors and even CIOs, only to have their careers subsequently stall. In many instances, these IT leaders are bright, friendly individuals, liked and respected by their teams and co-workers. So why did their climb up the corporate ladder come to a sudden halt?
IT knowledge, intelligence and people skills aren’t enough to ensure promising technology leaders progress through the corporate ranks. IT leaders who want to grow their careers need to learn essential business skills such as understanding how to communicate IT solutions and concepts to non-technical executives, knowing how business processes work outside the IT department and understanding how to create and manage a budget. As CIO magazine noted in its 2014 State of the CIO Survey, IT leaders who want to be perceived as true business peers rather cost centre managers need to have a complete understanding of how their companies work and serve their customers.