Do you curse at work? Do you think your colleagues think it’s cool? Have any of your associates told you that they think your language is offensive? Is your use of profanity at work sending a positive or negative message about you, your values, and your leadership?
Women communicate differently than men and that’s a good thing. Cursing by a male is generally accepted in the workplace while the same words, spoken by a female, are considered offensive. Using foul language to prove that you are as tough as any male is a losing strategy. Here’s why.
A Woman’s way of communicating is one of her most dynamic talents. Women are natural communicators. Men listen, and women talk—to everyone. Our ability to communicate is not just about talking, we are also aware of what others are thinking. We are keen observers and instinctively notice such things as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, which collectively give us the unique skill of perceptive communication.
As perceptive communicators we are able to tailor our message to fit the listener. This distinctive talent is forfeited when we resort to the use of foul language.
Joanna Weiss and Juliette Kayyem, provide the wrong advice to young women moving up the corporate ladder when they extol the actions of Carol Bartz, who proudly proclaimed that she was “f***ed over” by the Yahoo board that fired her.
By injecting curse words into your conversation all you accomplish is to distract the listener from hearing your message. Using profanity calls into question your credibility and judgment. Although it might feel good for an instant, this foolish moment of pleasure defines you and affects your career for a lifetime—there are no take backs.
So if you really want to communicate—say what you mean—but don’t demean—yourself or others.