Profanity in the workplace is a debatable issue for both employees and employers alike. Where do you draw the line? It may seem like at the time it felt good or it was part of the camaraderie in the workplace, yet have you ever wondered how it actually sounds to others around you?
We have all done it and yet the UN-professionalism of it is damaging to everyone. Research has shown “swearing” or using profane language has become a language in itself. As words are more powerful than the sword, imagine how saying it and add into your body language, the context can appear either as you are being immature, angry or hostile. It becomes a further tool, to explain the emotions behind the words when in fact it just counters the exact opposite effect. Let’s look at some examples”
Example 1 – Sitting in your office, working and the door is open
You are waiting for a customer or another employee to show up for a meeting. You were just on the phone for a personal matter and you were upset and you swore at the other person. As you turn around, there is your next appointment waiting, and they seem off kilter. Was it the fact, they heard you swear, lose your temper and now they have to talk with you. At the moment, it made you feel good or not yet someone else just witnessed your expletive directed at someone on the other side of the phone. They have no idea what the call was about, who it was and now they are with you and not sure of your emotions or reaction to what will be discussed. This meeting is now set up to fail.
Example 2 – Standing around the water cooler with a bunch of co-workers
A group of employees are enjoying some conversation about the weekend and a few of them are jovially expressing themselves. They are being loud and boisterous and few expletives are popping out of their mouth. You are walking past and thinking about joining in however you remember the last time you did and they joked about how sensitive you were about swearing. You walk right past. You feel excluded because you want to share your experiences but not in the manner they do. You may also notice others are avoiding them as well.
Example 3 – In a meeting
You just made a presentation about something very important to the team. Another employee on the Team jumps up and says “This is just S**T! or I can’t F***ING believe it. At the moment, it could be perceived in so many ways. Was it good, was there something they didn’t like, it sets a different tone to the event and leaves you and others wondering what the real intent behind the words were.
In each and every one of these situations, swearing comes across as crash, rude, insensitive and sets a tone that for someone else may be perceived as bad communication and to not join in the discussion. The next time, you want to swear, hold off and try finding a different word or phrase to use. Take a PAUSE and then proceed. To swear or not to swear is a choice. Remember using your words is mightier than the sword. It has the potential to hurt others and yourself as well.
Credits > T.L. Major Hughes Guest Blogger Safety Within
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