Home > Business Strategy, Consulting Strategies, Leadership > Qué Dijo? (What did you say?)

Qué Dijo? (What did you say?)

This morning I was eating breakfast at a hotel in Somerset, NJ getting ready to head back home after a long East Coast “tour.” I heard my waitress speaking in Spanish with the hostess and an idea struck me. I’m looking to improve my conversational Spanish. What a great way to practice by speaking it with my waitress!

I asked her when she returned and she graciously said she would be happy to speak to me in Spanish. The problem was, she didn’t follow through. When I would talk to her in Spanish, she would respond to me in English. That doesn’t help me…I’m pretty good in English! Now my Spanish is not so bad that she didn’t understand me because based on her responses she did. After a few attempts, I just gave up and figure I will try it again sometime in the future.

Does your business have a language that is hard to understand for your clients and customers?

Just like I did with my waitress, if the lines of communication are foggy, they will just give up. That means less retained business, less new business, and increased frustration, anxiety, and stress. As business professionals, it’s easy to default to the gibberish that dominates the industry we are in. Acronyms are the worst! Like my waitress, we may not realize we fall into that default language, and the danger is that our clients don’t tell us. They often merely nod their heads and move on…to someone else!

Turn your language into one that is easy to understand for a 3rd grader. I’m not talking about dumbing down your vocabulary. I’m talking about making communications easier for those you are trying to influence. The better you are at that, the more they will be helped, and the more success you will achieve.

Adios!

Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

  1. January 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Excellent post, Dan. I can relate on several levels. I practice French by speaking it to the Parisian shopkeepers, waiters, vendors who invariably answer in English. The conversations are awkward and amusing! In my real estate business I had employees write weekly summary reports to clients. Often the employees would use technical terms that would cofuse the client and which would then require lengthy explanations. We had to devise a “glossary” for the client. After the initial painful time investment, the glossary paid off.

    • January 26, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      I bet you can relate, Brenda! Thanks for commenting…

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