November 1, 2020

Acronyms and Labels

If you've ever spent time with a group of people from the same industry that you’re not a part of, you know how narrow we can all be at times. There are acronyms and terms you have no clue how to decipher. It’s almost as if they are speaking another language, their own language. 

I was consulting a large pharma company and on one of our conference calls, I asked them to translate into English. At first, they were confused, but then they laughed and understood. 

What do You Mean?

We think we’re being clear, but we have to understand that our thoughts may not align with others’ understanding. When we take the time to step back, breathe, and gain more insight into how others are perceiving us, we stand a better chance of understanding each other and at times ourselves. 

Technical speak and industry specifics are often needed, but sometimes boiling things down to the most basic level is the best way to avoid misinterpretation. If we take a moment and suspend our beliefs to check for understanding, conflict can be avoided and teamwork can be improved. 

One idea is to find someone outside our circle to ask their opinion. Their lack of of industry knowledge might unlock some questions we hadn't considered. 

It's worth a shot.
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