The Power of Cursing At Work

by Chris Young

Cursing in the WorkplaceHow do you respond to those who curse in the workplace?

Cursing in the workplace destroys morale - reduces positive energy - reduces the potential of the team and organization - and ruins the Customer Experience.

So why do we allow cursing in the workplace?

Oh...  Let me be clear...  I am not talking about the traditional "curse words"...  We all know what they are.

The curse words I am most concerned about are a much bigger problem than the "f-word" - much, much bigger.

The future of your company is shaped by the words you use.  If you are destroying the potential of your company by using "curse words" - you have a powerful opportunity to shape the Culture of your company.  Change your Culture by changing how employee team members talk about what needs to be accomplished.  

What are the inappropriate "curse words" used in the workplace that I am talking about?

Perhaps a "curse word litmus test" would be helpful...  Put any word in the same sentence as your paycheck.  If it causes anxiety, it is a curse word.  Stop cursing at work. Immediately.

An example...

"We will try to get you your paycheck on time."

What does "try" suggest?  A best effort?  That is a given.  Give your best effort, but do not try.  Your employer does not "try" to get you your paycheck.  Your check arrives when it is supposed to or there are consequences.  Give your best effort all of the time.  

"Do or do not - there is no try." - Yoda

 Another example...

"I hope to get you your paycheck on time."

If you or a loved one is ill, hope is a wonderful strategy.  Otherwise - hope is not a strategy. 

Company Culture

"There are those that hope for things to happen and there are those who make it happen." - my own quote.


The words you use shape the future you create.  Choose them carefully.  

Interested in learning more about "real" cursing in the workplace?  Check out Bob Sutton's Strategic Use of Swearing in the Workplace.

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