They are all about rules. But none of us know all the rules. We might think we do, but it’s impossible. Partly due to the sheer volume of the rules, but mostly because the rules are continually changing.
Our communities, families, teams, and organisations have their own set of language, etiquette, and culture – we cannot not have them. Most of the time, we don’t think about it or need to think about it. The shorthand, gestures, acronyms are known (or at least we think they are) and help us interact. They are also ways of knowing who is ‘in’ and who’s an outsider.
But then someone joins from the outside. A new team member. Sometimes there is a ‘translator’ who helps the newbie learn the rules and the code. Other times we let them fend for themselves in the deep end.
But we also see this when one of ‘us’ needs to speak to the ‘outside’ world – to another organisation, another team, and so on. When we do this, we need to consider who we are speaking to and use a common language, not our own. Putting a presentation or a speech together is relatively easy. Caring enough about your audience to put it into a language they understand and using stories they can relate to is the hard part.
The choice is up to us.