Words Matter. Especially the Bad Ones.

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On the back of my business card, you’ll see the phrase, “Words Matter.” I stand by this saying, because words do make a difference. From employer to employee, friend to friend, person to person, words can have an impact on someone’s day, week, or even reputation. That said, there is a time and a place for certain “salty” language.

Bad Word Hall of Fame

To be honest, my parents should be in the Curse Word Hall of Fame, and I’m certainly not far behind them. I don’t turn my nose up at the occasional word slip, even at the workplace, but swearing at work can become a problem if it takes place often, especially if leadership is involved. Nowadays, common cursing takes place because leadership either uses similar coarse language in front of employees, or managers do not stress enough to staff the importance of not swearing.

Even our president seems to have an “open minded” view of speaking, which gives off the air of non-censorship. I believe this has influenced the public in a way that encourages them to be their “transparent” self, speaking their mind and sometimes putting one’s foot in one’s mouth.

There’s a Time and a Place.

Like I said, I’m not against profanity, just profanity in improper places. It’s important to consider who you’re speaking to, around, and on behalf of. You see, even if you feel comfortable enough with a colleague to toss around a few words, I always warn that you really don’t know most people as well as you might think. Be careful, because what you say as an employee reflects on you and your employer.

Most people, I would say, who want to be successful, want to exude class. Unfortunately, one doesn’t really sound “classy” when they talk “trashy.” That also applies to more high-pressure occupations, where curse words may be more common.

Profanity Doesn’t Equal Power

When one loses control in language, it can also be a sign of weakness, which means one’s illusion of power or authority may lessen (or cheapen). Be in control of yourself, your reputation, and your success by choosing your words wisely. Or at least, not wildly.

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