top of page
  • Writer's pictureAAL

Dumbing Down Communication May Not Be a Bad Thing

Recently the Thought Leadership League conducted a survey regarding culture in the workplace. Executives where asked what factors lead to a good culture. When asked to pick the most important factors that contribute to a great culture, 86% of all participants selected “Clear and Effective Communication”.

What exactly does clear and effective communication mean? One of the barriers to good communication is vocabulary.

The terms an executive uses may be very intelligent and signal that they have done a lot of reading and kept current on the latest and greatest leadership publications. However, using these terms to communicate with beginning and middle managers who are not as well versed could be futile.

More effective communication will occur if your executives learn to “dumb down” the terms. This is not necessarily a negative action. In fact the KISS concept (keep it simple stupid) can actually help all involved in the conversation stream line thoughts and learning points and get to the heart of the intent of the communication.

Simplicity can be a positive thing.

Next time you encounter a situation in your organization in which two different levels of people are interacting check the conversation. Listen to the vocabulary and watch for idioms and examples that one party may not be aware of, but may be unwilling to stop the communication to admit to not understanding.

The dumbing down process can actually help all involved learn more about the problem or situation. How many times have you learned something by listening to an instructor explain a complicated term to someone who had the courage to ask “what does this mean”?

While the term “dumbing down” is not very flattering and may not be politically correct, the point is understood. There is nothing dumb about breaking down communication into its simplest form. KISS can be very effective.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page