Category Archives: effective meetings

Substance vs. Corporate Jargon

I had a meeting with an agency manager this week and the conversation flowed very smoothly. We both understood one another completely and business was conducted in a very effective manner.  There was real substance to our discussion points.  We got a lot accomplished in an hour.  We understood one another, thanks to the substance.

I was reminded of how real substance in a business discussion makes for conversation that produces results.  I was also reminded of another discussion I held with an agent who is an State Manager for a large, well-known National insurance carrier.  The discussion was going very well and we understood one another for sure.  In the middle of the discussion – over lunch – his manager walked into the restaurant and when my manager friend saw him, of course he invited his boss to sit with us.  ‘The Boss’ was a very nice guy who asked me a lot of good questions about my program.   One of my answers prompted ‘The Boss’ to turn to the State Manager and say a few things – presumably relevant – but in their particular form of corporate jargon – “corporate speak”, if you will.  Then they both started talking and nodding at me.  Their words were intended to relate to their “corporate vision”.  I am all about having clear visions but they need to be expressed in an understandable way.  Apparently I was supposed to see the relevance of the many phrases of visions, to my operations.  I didn’t.  The points that the ‘The Boss’ was attempting to make were flying over my head without stopping-by to sink in.

The next time I meet with my State Manager business acquaintance, I will try my best to make sure his ‘Boss’ – nice guy that he is – will not wander into the same restaurant.  If I ever to meet with ‘The boss’ again, I will ask for their proprietary corporate dictionary.

Maybe it is just me but give me the substance any day.