Pretending to know the acronyms

Are you sometimes hesitant to ask what something means because you think you should know it already?

Industries have acronyms. Corporations have even more. It’s engrained in their cultures.

But do you know all the acronyms at your company? Or do you sometimes pretend you do because you don’t want to appear stupid?

If you’re a manager, what messages are you sending to your reports if you don’t speak up when you don’t understand something you think you’re supposed to?

The unwritten rule becomes don’t ask questions which seem simplistic. Of course, it’s the simplistic which often ends up being complicated.

The odds are if you don’t know what an acronym means, someone else doesn’t either. Or worse, people will have different interpretations or different meanings of the same acronym.

This leads to miscommunication, missed deadlines and general frustration.

As a manager or leader, if you have (or fake) the confidence to ask what terms mean, you are helping others with understanding.

When we speak up when not familiar with something we think everyone knows:

• We find out what it means
• We provide common ground and dialogue on specific terms
• We are creating an environment where its okay to speak up

Many times it’s the basics that are confusing, resulting in wasted time. Asking questions can help change that situation.

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