Words Matter: Building Trust and Dropping Jargon to Create Stronger Teams

Within the Agile and technology communities, it can be easy to assume that the language we use every day is common knowledge and shared throughout our professional spaces. Certainly when we interact with other professionals and hear them using the same terms, this just reinforces our assumptions. Especially when we leave the boundaries of technically specific language and enter the realm of jargon or “buzzwords” it can be easy to find validation through other people’s language preferences.

However, using this type of language can not only create divisions within our teams, it can obfuscate meaning, delay action, and create misunderstandings that can inhibit a team's ability to deliver. By examining the differences between jargon and technical language, we will look at how this use of language can create in- and out- groups and break down trust within an organization.

By committing to using broadly understood language and being direct in the way we interact with each other, we can improve our ability to perform at a high level in the fast paced technology space.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Talk

Identifying Communication Types in the Workplace (10 minutes)

  • Introduction to "buzzwords" and jargon
  • Group Activity: Identify examples within participant’s organizations
  • Comparison to technical language, and the difference in value

In- and Out- Groups (15 minutes)

  • What are In- and Out- groups?
  • Discuss how specific language can create separations on teams
  • Review the vectors for this language and how it becomes commonly utilized
  • How does this language manifest and create negative feedback

Team Communication (15 minutes)

  • How these trends impact team communication health
  • Discuss potential consequences of these impacts
  • Trust and how it impacts what people are willing to share
  • Establishing stronger trust for a more direct, straightforward workplace

Closing and Questions (5 minutes)

  • Review the language we’ve discussed and how it manifests within teams
  • Discuss impacts and detrimental effects of this language in comparison to valuable communication.
  • Remind participants to be straightforward, honest, and direct in their communication to reduce confusion, add clarity, and form a more united team.

Learning Outcome

  • Identify vague, superfluous or misleading language.
  • Separate between the value of technical language in comparison to jargon or “buzzwords”.
  • Understand how “buzzwords” or jargon can create in- or out- groups and a lack of comprehension within teams.
  • Promote more straightforward communication within teams.
  • Establish trust in communication channels through direct and mindful speech.

Target Audience

Agile team members, managers, leaders, scrummasters, coaches, and anyone who uses language to communicate

Prerequisites for Attendees

There is no prerequisite knowledge required for this session.

schedule Submitted 1 month ago

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