The Perils of Jargon and Excessive E-Mail

My Interview with Josh Bernoff on Message Not Received.

A few months ago, I stumbled across Josh Bernoff’s excellent blog Without Bullshit. Josh writes frequently about a subject near and dear to my heart: the prevalence and inimical effects of jargon.

Needless to say, we hit it off.

Josh recently interviewed me about my most recent book Message Not Received. I’ve done probably 30 interviews since the book hit the shelves last March, but his questions were particularly astute:

  • Your main point is that most business communication does not work. Explain what you mean by that.
  • You and I agree that most workers these days are overwhelmed with information. What’s your evidence? And if you’re right, what does that mean for the work they do?
  • You may be the most intrepid jargon fighter out there. Why do you think there is so much jargon in our workplace communication?
  • What jargon have you noticed lately that’s especially pernicious?
  • E-mail is basically the circulatory system of most organizations. Everything flows through it. And yet, you say it’s not a good tool for collaboration or efficiency. What’s wrong, and how should we fix it?
  • You’re a fan of inbox zero. I just let it all flow by me—my inbox is where I find whatever I need. What’s wrong with my strategy?
  • What’s the worst sentence you’ve ever read in a business setting? And how would you reword it?
  • Since you published your book, have you seen any hopeful signs that the world is getting better?

To read my hopefully informative answers, click here.

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