Key to being helpful and effective | Kristen Haldeman | March 1, 2019

At one point, we all sat in the doctor’s office listening to a medical description completely foreign to us. “Doctor, I am experiencing arm pain.” “The pericardium is innervated by C3,4,5 (Phrenic nerve). There may be some neuronal connections to the intercostobrachial nerves.” We are a deer in the headlights of an oncoming panic attack driven by a misunderstanding of medical jargon.

These confusing and often belittling interactions happen not only in the doctor’s office, but also in the business environment, lawyer’s circles, and the farmer’s field. The problem is not that they are presenting us with inaccurate information; the problem is that the information is not accessible.

By the end of 2018, 2 million apps were available for download from the Apple App Store. Information of all categories is accessible with one touch of a fingertip. With such vast and instant knowledge it makes sense for the jargon-filled societies to also make their content accessible.

This need for accessibility is exactly why Anthony McCarley shares his story of swimming the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. While the experience itself may not be relatable to every person, the values within the story (determination, preparation, consistency, growing, and even failing) are connectable to everyone.

McCarley shares this story as a helpful tool in conveying these values that ultimately allow for businesses, and people, to thrive. Like the doctor, if business jargon was left encrypted, the patient would leave the office perhaps in worse shape than when he or she arrived because of the fear and confusion of not understanding, and not being able to do anything with, the information.

“The one argument for accessibility that doesn’t get made nearly often enough is how extraordinarily better it makes some people’s lives. How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people's lives just by doing our job a little better?” Steven Krug

In order to be helpful, in order to be effective, one must allow their message to be accessible.

Michelle Martinez