If you check the definition of jargon on wikipedia, you’ll get a good example of dictionary- jargon: ‘Jargon is the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity occupational or social group’. A simple definition would be ‘the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest.’


There’s nothing wrong with using jargon when communicating with your colleagues who grasp the ‘language’. Yet it can make things very complicated for people who don’t work in your own field of expertise. It’s caused by the Curse of Knowledge, because you assume your listeners possess the same knowledge level as you do (or at least under- stand the basics of your work domain). But that’s an illusion.

To avoid jargon, apply the Aunt Bertha test: imagine telling your story to your 78 year-old aunt Bertha.

What words will you use? How will you phrase your sentence? What metaphor can you use to make it as simple as possible?

Check out www.lessisbeautiful.co for more stories how ‘less’ can succeed in business

Cyriel Kortleven will hold a Business Creativity Workshop at theHRcoreACADEMY²conference in Brussels, Oct 21-22.

This article was originaly posted on Cyriel Kortleven’s blog.  http://www.cyrielkortleven.com/aunt-bertha-test/

Don’t miss the 4th HRcoreLAB  Conference this 8th & 9th of March 2016 in Barcelona.

6th Future of Recruitment Seminar (Part of the HRcoreLAB)

4th Leading With Talent Summit (Part of the HRcoreLAB)

HR Agility (Part of the HRcoreLAB)

Leadership, Analytics, Recruitment, Development, Talent, Talent Management, Big Data, HR tech, Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding, HR Agility, Agile HR, Agility.