The 3 Reasons Why Diversity & Inclusion Jargon Is Harming Your Organisation

Today, I want to talk about a persistent issue that keeps turning up on the show.

It’s the issue of language, the issue of Jargon. In general, Business leaders have a bad reputation for using unnecessary jargon in the workplace. However, when it comes to matters of Diversity & Inclusion it seems that jargon is raised to a whole new level. This isn’t going to be a show where I talk through a massive list of jargon but in todays show I’m going to discuss several things including:

  • Why Jargon can be used as a lazy way to grab attention
  • Why Jargon can be a hiding place for those who lack knowledge
  • Why moving beyond jargon is going to become necessary and much much more

Here’s some of what I share in the show:

The Lazy Use of Jargon to Grab Attention

I explain how individuals use words like Diversity & inclusion in order to grab attention instead of facilitating change:

“Too many people copy and paste punch lines like this to explain what Diversity and Inclusion is without the follow up explanation that’s required. Why? Let’s face it; these are punchy phrases that grab attention without the corresponding responsibility of delivery or explanation”

People Hide Behind Jargon to Mask Their Lack of Knowledge

I describe how jargon can be used by those seeking authority as a method of projecting knowledge while masking a lack of understanding:

“One way that people claim authority is to use jargon, to use acronyms and then act is if these terms are part of everyday language that you should know about”

We Need to Move Beyond Jargon to Focus on Meaning

I outline why an exclusive focus on technical terms can be counterproductive:

“Textbook definitions have their place but at some point we need to focus on meanings and intentions and not exclusively on the academic terms that are being used”

Show notes

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.

Stephen Frost: How the London 2012 Olympics Made a Big Deal Out of Diversity 

My PhD Thesis

Dr Lisa Nishii

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The Elements of Inclusion #4