Ole! If you think you smell something at work, there's probably good reason--"bull" has become the official language of business. Every day, we get bombarded by an endless stream of filtered, antiseptic, jargon-filled corporate speak, all of which makes it harder to get heard, harder to be authentic, and definitely harder to have fun. But it doesn't have to be that way. The team that brought you the Clio Award-winning Bullfighter software is back with an entertaining, bare-knuckled guide to talking straight--for those who want to climb the corporate ladder, but refuse to check their personality at the door. Why Business People Speak Like Idiots exposes four traps that transform us from funny, honest and engaging weekend people into boring business stiffs: The Obscurity Trap:"After extensive analysis of the economic factors facing our industry, we have concluded that a restructuring is essential to maintaining competitive position. A task force has been assembled..." These are the empty calories of business communication. And, unfortunately, they're the rule. The Obscurity Trap catches idiots desperate to sound smart or prove their purpose, and lures them with message-killers like jargon, long-windedness, acronyms, and evasiveness. The Anonymity Trap: Businesses love clones--easy to hire, easy to manage, easy to train, easy to replace--and almost everyone is all too happy to oblige. We outsource our voice through templates, speechwriters and email, and cave in to conventions that aren't really even rules. The Hard-Sell Trap: Legions of business people fall prey to the Hard-Sell Trap. We overpromise. We accentuate the positive and pretend the negative doesn't exist. This may work for those pushing Ginsu knives and miracle Abdominizers, but it's dead wrong for persuading business people to listen. The Tedium Trap: Everyone you work with thinks about sex, tells stories, gets caught up in life's amazing details, and judges everyone else by the way they look and act. We live to be entertained. We all learned that in Psychology 101, except for the business idiots who must have skipped that semester. They tattoo their long executive-sounding titles on their foreheads, dump pre-packaged numbers on their audience, and virtually guarantee that we want nothing to do with them. This is your wake-up call. Personality, humanity and candor are being sucked out of the workplace. Let the wonks send their empty messages. Yours are going to connect. Fast Company magazine named Why Business People Speak Like Idiots one of the ideas and trends that will change how we work and live in 2005. So grab your cape and sharpen your sword. It's time to fight the bull!
Brian Fugere is a recovering jargonaholic. After authoring some of the worst jargon the consulting world has ever seen, he formally admitted his problem and entered a twelve-step program. He is currently in rehab and has been jargon-clean for the last two years. He is a partner at Deloitte Consulting and was formerly its chief marketing officer. Brian lives in Danville, California, with his wife, Gail, and their four children.
Chelsea Hardaway is an authenticity nut. She can detect hogwash and spin from a country mile, and has spent her career helping companies trade in the usual corporate gibberish for more honest, human communications. She is the president of Hardaway Productions, a brand and communications consultancy that helps clients cut through the clutter. Previously, she was the global brand director at Deloitte Consulting. Chelsea lives in Half Moon Bay, California.
Jon Warshawsky, a former eighth-grade spelling champion, is a manager at Deloitte Consulting and helped start the firm's e-Learning practice. In 2000, he founded Cappuccino, a newsletter covering organizational change and learning. In 2002, Mr. Warshawsky returned to his roots as a grammar curmudgeon and led the development of Bullfighter, the software that quantified idiocy in the world of business writing. He lives in San Diego.
"This is a funny, entertaining, readable book about a serious, important, undervalued issue: communication. The way business people talk to each other -- and to the rest of us -- is often inauthentic, deceptive, opaque, and trivial. If you're us, this book will help you decode what they're talking about. If you're them, it will help you find a better, more effective way to get your message across." -- Tony Schwartz, bestselling coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement and president of The Energy Project
"Why Business People Speak Like Idiots...is one of the surprising ideas and trends that will change the way we work and live in 2005." -- Fast Company
"There are two reasons why business people refuse to speak in a way the rest of us can understand: fear and peer pressure. This book cuts through both excuses and makes it far more likely that work will actually get done. If you've ever written a memo, you need this book." -- Seth Godin, bestselling author of Permission Marketing and Purple Cow
"Why Business People Speak Like Idiots follows its own advice. It's blunt, lively and chocablock with personality." The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005