Cursing in the Work Place and Beyond

cussing in work placeCussing, cursing, profanity, bad language, or using expletives – No matter what term you give to this practice, it happens to almost all of us to one degree or another. You may have “safe” curse words that you deem as acceptable, even in the work place or around friends and family. However, there are some people who appear to have no filters regardless of who is around at any given moment. Is this a good practice to have? How much cursing in the work place (and beyond) is too much?

There’s a pretty hard-and-fast rule that there should be no use of more “colorful” language when dealing with customers. That’s a no-brainer. However, not everyone thinks of those they work with as customers, when, in fact, they are. They would be considered to be “internal customers”, but they should be treated with the same level of respect and professionalism you would use if you were face-to-face with a paying customer. There is a working relationship between you and your co-workers, and you all are on the path to the same goal: To do your job to the best of your ability, and serve the business well on all levels. Therefore, proper communication between co-workers shouldn’t include the use of a sailor’s tongue.

Using profanity in the work place has the high potential of creating a hostile environment. While you may be very comfortable and accepting of foul language, others around you may not be in the same place. Consideration for everyone’s sensibilities is respectful and creates a smoother exchange between all of you.

There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule. There are certain business industries that seem to go hand-in-hand with f-bombs and other four letter words passed around like a hot potato. You may even be closer to one co-worker in an office environment than others, so the two of you have a different level of understanding. In those cases, it may not be too much of an issue. But, in the corporate world, it’s something that is best to avoid at all costs. You want to be taken seriously at work, and may even be banking on a promotion soon, so this is something to watch if you’ve been a little lax lately.

Other social environments outside of work may also need to be monitored for use of curse words on a regular basis. Sure, you and your group of friends at a restaurant may be comfortable expressing yourselves with these “sentence enhancers” (comment below, if you get that reference), but you may be at a table next to others with children or who aren’t impressed with your lexicon. It’s not worth causing a huge scene in a public place over your language, so keep it to a minimum when in public. Again, it comes down to respect of others; something that should appear on the list of extinct (or, at least “endangered”) species.

What are your thoughts on cursing in the work place and in public? How has it affected your work and personal relationships? Let me know in the comments below.


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