Over the past week, I’ve had several conversations about how to create the best story to attract the right people to the right companies. One major project is to literally draft all of the job profiles and descriptions needed to build a new startup – the startup doesn’t even exist yet and we are under NDA. The CEO and I have worked on various pitches and we are still editing to create the most authentic and personal story as possible. I always find it fascinating to first “pitch” a potential candidate and then hear (or sense) their first response or receive their first question. I then quickly tailor where I hear interest and areas they want to speak about. I’ve really tried to listen to more natural speakers and one great manager once told me years ago during my consultant days to: “get ride of all of the management speak”. My colleagues and I sitting in the room remember thinking that this was going to be impossible because our clients use ‘big words’ all of the time and we need to sound sophisticated. This was until I actually did try to not use management speak (OK, I admit, when presenting and in flow, a few fluffy terms slipped out), but it worked when presenting, I mean simply speaking, with a management team. They told me that was one of the best sessions ever and a certain trust was built that day where we could just be open and say it like it is.
So can we please try to remove the jargon such as: “rock star”, “guru”, “ninja”, “drive performance”? If you have to ask yourself what does this word/term really mean, then don’t use it. Simply speak or write like you would with a friend. If you are unsure of the language, try out a cool tool like textio.com. You will gain some insights into your writing style and how to chose your words carefully so that everybody understands.