When you are in meetings, in shops, in discussion with vendors or even at job interviews there you are often confronted with new abbreviations, new spicy good sounding words and a lot of filler words. It is epidemic that people get more and more vague in their form of expressions.
The reason: People are masking the rot to get their things or stories sold.
People need to mask the disadvantages of their stuff or the strategies they want to sell you. The vague stuff they want to sell often they bought under vague circumstances themselves. - Yes I am talking also about stock market and the financial crises, but not only. ;-)
As many do cover and mask the stuff to hide probable risks there is also a lack of information which multiplies on the way from a producer to the final buyer. I experience this for instance if I am asking for more detailed information while analyzing the disadvantages before buying something. Many times the (re-)seller has only a very poor idea of what they are selling.
On the other hand there are those who know more details and had bad experiences with angry customers who returned to the shop because they were so disappointed. Those (re-)sellers really try everything to not give any definite answer - especially in IT. They fear the moment you come back and tell them something like "You told me that it works this way".
The solution: Identify the smoke and mirrors and stick to concrete clear information.
The only chance to survive all those false fronts is to analyze the situations to dissolve illusions and to insist in your requests for concrete and clear statements, in detail:
- Ask yourself for possible interests of the people you are dealing with.
In general the others talking about their interests they seem like Mother Teresa, but usually they are not. They are working to achieve their very own egoistic goals. Guessing their goals can uncover smoke and mirrors.
- Do unemotional analysis.
Especially when somebody wants to sell you something the person wants to push your "wish" buttons and create demand within you - demand you might never have had before. Drop your emotions and especially your expectations also. Then analyze the situation, the product or the offered service.
- Search for the disadvantages.
There is always at least one disadvantage. There is no product, no service - nothing - that has only advantages. Why? Because of the simple truth that you can't have everything at once - there is no magic pill. If you get told that there is no disadvantage you can be sure that the person is masking rot (or isn't either aware of the disadvantages). Try to ask for the disadvantages.
- Ask for concrete explanation of all the fancy words that people are using that you don't know.
People often use abbreviations and buzzwords to appear as a specialist and they count on the other people's desire not being the stupid. Many that don't know the meaning of particular words are too shy to ask. So those people using these words can hide behind them. If you ask for explanation of the fancy words (even if you already heard 3 other explanations) the other people get annoyed and they reduce usage and get more simple and clear in their speaking. A justification of that behavior asking for explanation is that often people use fancy words without really knowing what they mean. If you ask for explanation (and insist of a little more detailed explanation) those often can be unveiled.
- Ignore fillers and brilliant labels.
There is so much stuff that does not affect the quality of the product or service. Vague filler words that everybody is using (buzzwords) or particular labels that scream out to stand for quality are some of that stuff. Memorize only the information that really matters.