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Words Matter: Quit the Mumbo Jumbo

June 12, 2020

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”-George Bernard Shaw

Dear Employee,

Our strategic vision was executed with flawless agility. Because of your passion and synergy our product offering is robust, and our pillars are strong. The innovation we achieved was made possible by the fortitude of our people. Your accountability, transparency, and clear courageousness has led us into a new year that will unfold possibilities that will maximize our impact in the industry. BLAH…BLAH…BLAH…

Translation: We did well this year. Keep it up! 

Why do we talk this way in business? Are people slipping silly corporate talk sauce into the Keurig machine? 

It’s a fact- organizations that promote authentic behavior are more likely to have engaged, enthusiastic employees and work environments of trust. Silly corporate speak is the antithesis of authenticity. As humans, we crave genuineness- we also see through insincerity. 

So, how do you cut the mumbo jumbo and start communicating in a way that is clear, honest, authentic, and understood.

Here are 7 ways to banish the mumbo jumbo, be authentic to your brand and voice, and cut to the chase so your employees get the message and stay engaged: 


FACT: The average executive spends 75% of their time, about 45 minutes per hour, communicating.

You set numbers and goals. You spend hours of time perfecting your plan, but how are you inspiring, informing, and articulating that plan through communication with your team? Having a strategic communication plan that you can stick to throughout the year helps keep employees engaged and when you have an engaged workforce, business booms. 


FACT: Markus Zusak rewrote The Book Thief 200 times to get it right.

“Oh, God. Another nine-paragraph email from the boss.” Editing is the art of writing. Pair your message down to be clear and concise. Take time to cut the fat. You’ll be loved and thanked. 


FACT: Attention spans have shrunk by 50% over the past decade.

The great thing about the digital age is the plethora of communication platforms that are available to get the word out. The bad thing is the plethora of communication platforms that are available. You have competition, so mix it up. Create a plan that is a blend of interesting and compelling content and messaging that is sent out through different channels and platforms: video, text, social platforms, LIVE meetings, sky writing…you get the message. Keep it interesting and mix it up. 


FACT: Confusion and frustration usually make your best employees leave. To replace them costs an average of %150 of their salary. 

If you’re giving a speech, your audience is made up of listeners. They have only one chance to absorb what you’re communicating. Keep it structured and concise. If you’re sending a memo, craft your message with the reader in mind. What do they value? What do they already know about the topic? Why do they need to know this information? Great communication speaks directly to the audience. Sounds simple, but it takes effort. The last thing you want is a confused and frustrated audience. 


FACT: 10% of conflicts are due to differences in opinion. 90% are due to the wrong tone of voice.

“Please advise”. Please don’t. Tone is everything. What you communicate is just as important as how you communicate it. Whether delivering a message through video, LIVE meetings, social media, or a memo- you will be judged on more than content, and a sour tone can off put an entire workforce. Check your tone.


FACT: Organizations that foster authentic behavior are more likely to have engaged, enthusiastic employees and work environments that are open and promote trust.

Authenticity counts. Find your voice. Stop with the fancy mumbo jumbo, corporate speak and write with your unique voice. You are a brand ambassador for the company and an extension of the culture. Use your unique voice to build trust and be uniquely you-that’s why you were hired in the first place. 


FACT: When there are more questions than answers at work the result is confusion, mistrust, and lowered productivity. 

Not all leaders are great communicators. Hiring a professional content strategist can free you up to focus on your team and goals. Having a professional writer working alongside you keeps your plan on track, your employees in the know, and your business thriving. Know when to call in the pro. 

Every waking day of our lives we spend 76% in some form of communication. Your communication plan should be alive and dynamic. Communicate frequently and with authenticity and take a stand against the mumbo jumbo!

Marie Daniel Group is an integrated marketing firm focused on communication, brand development, and multi-channel marketing campaigns. Visit https://mariedanielgroup.com/ or call 877.634.2019 to connect. 

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