Last month, I talked about Acronym Rehab and the representation that their repeated use can create. As a speaker, sales person, or presenter the use of these can cause confusion or a less professional appearance. What other communication roadblocks can be created by the use of these in every day conversation? As I've said before, it's one thing to text your son "k" or "btw" about something going on in your personal life, but it's another to send that sort of message to a customer or employer.
When it creeps into face to face conversation out of sheer habit, you may not realize it but it slows everything down, even if it is just for a few seconds. When you speak to someone else, the brain is processing everything that is being said. Much like a computer, when you open an application, your brain has to find the information, open up the file, and execute it. The same general process occurs when you're communicating with someone.
If you're being spoken too and you're getting a lot of ABC's and XYZ's, it's going to slow down the time that it takes for your brain to process the meaning of what the other person is saying. Your brain has to break down and define the acronym, reset it into the sentence, and then process it. When you have a lot of extra information, it clogs your brain. The problem with this? The brain can't process quickly and what someone is trying to say to you is lost and by the time you decode the message, you might not remember what the point of it was the first time.
Cutting out the extra information in conversations will not only save you time, it might save you from having to start at the beginning and go through it again.
What do you think? Does the use of three letter acronyms slow us down or speed it up? Are you ready to admit you have a problem and start to remove them from your face to face conversation?