Terminology trauma

From Faster Than 20

When hearing a term triggers associations with horrible experiences.

Often happens when terms are treated as binaries rather than spectrums. E.g. "We need to collaborate" vs "We need to get better at collaboration."

Certain things — when done well — are critically important and powerful. When someone has terminology trauma, how do you talk about that thing?


"Collaboration." Associated with watered-down consensus.

"Hierarchy." Hierarchy isn't bad. Rigid, ineffective hierarchy is. But because the latter is most people's experience with hierarchy, they treat the two as equivalent.

"Visioning." People's experience it as ungrounded thinking, versus putting a stake in the ground and constantly revisiting.