One of my favorite things about the Peanuts cartoons is the adult-speak. To Linus, Lucy, Charlie Brown, etc., it always sounds like “Wah wah wAh waH wah WAH wah.”
It is not unusual for adult-speak to invade the business world as well—or church world, or government world, or your world. A recent WSJ article had three great examples of a CEO speaking that was nothing more than “Wah wah wAh waH wah WAH wah.”
Example 1: “profitability framework”—meaning, we are losing money, but maybe someday we’ll make some. (Maybe…if we put an entirely new picture in a new frame.)
Example 2: “optimizing our store network”—meaning we are going to close a lot of stores. (They have already closed or sold 40% of their stores and are losing more than ever.)
Example 3: “transforming select business models”—meaning…I have no idea what this means. (Maybe, “We are hoping for a miracle.”)
Of course, you don’t have to be a CEO to lapse into adult-speak. Preachers do it. Politicians do it. Educators do it. And, gosh, I do it.
The most important thing about communication is not what you say, but what people hear. Hopefully, it’s not “Wah wah wAh waH wah WAH wah.”
If this post was interesting and useful, please forward it to a friend.
© Copyright 2014 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company.
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner