I’ve noticed a growing trend in the business world, and particularly within my industry, around the use of vulgar language. What was once considered taboo now seems to be fashionable. Call me old fashioned, or just call me old, but I think it’s highly unprofessional and it’s definitely not called for in most business settings.
Now, before some of my friends and colleagues start throwing the F-Bomb hand grenades at me, I want them to know that I am not judging them or any other person. That would make me a hypocrite. I also let expletives fly from my mouth at times (mostly in the car, but that’s another story), though I can’t say that I am proud of it. What we do in our personal lives is up to us as individuals. It’s your choice to cuss or not to cuss. In a professional business setting, I feel that we should adhere to stricter standards.
Why Cussing Shouldn’t Have a Place in Business
It’s Rude and Offensive to Others: Not everyone agrees to your choice of words and not everyone believes the same as you do. Some people would consider it highly offensive, depending on their background, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Why would any business person want to clearly offend another person or risk losing potential work by not controlling their tongue? Being obscene for the sake of being obscene makes no sense to me.
It’s Degrading to Women: There are women who are as vulgar, if not more, than men. But I believe that a majority of women do not appreciate this kind of talk and I believe men should show more respect to women through their actions and words. I will also state here that the women who are now using vulgarity as a “shock and awe” marketing tactic are tasteless and disrespectful as well.
It Teaches Us that There Are No Rules: Our society and our country has become so desensitized that we no longer have any true, defining morals. Take religion out of it, because that’s not what I am necessarily talking about. In the past, we had guidelines or a common sense of decency that most people would follow. It’s not that way anymore and I believe this is a great tragedy. We need to get back to drawing some lines in the sand.
Is Cussing in Business Settings Ever Acceptable?
I attended a couple of events last year that I really value, but couldn’t understand why certain speakers would take the stage and start talking like juvenile boys, instead of professionals. The f-bombs and sexual language flew from the stage like obscenity was going out of style. There were women and children present and I was horrified to see the looks on their faces as they heard these words. Some presenters didn’t have any consideration for their audience.
If we are hanging out over a few beers with a select group of friends and talking shop, I personally don’t care what you say. Believe me, you won’t offend me. I think you can, and should, be who you are with friends or the people you know. But if you are having meetups and new people come into the mix, you might want to tone it down. It’s not so much about what you say than about what setting you say them in. Be mindful of the people around you.
I know there will be readers who completely disagree with me and that’s OK. One would argue that if we don’t like the language a person uses, we can simply walk out, leave, or not follow them in the social media sphere. That would be correct and I’ve even done it. However, I do think as business owners or entrepreneurs that we owe it to the people we want to reach, to practice as much respect as possible in business situations.
What do you think?