I have had leaders who swore a lot. And I have had other leaders who swore some, but refrained from swearing when I was around out of respect.
Career Builder did an interesting survey a little while back on using foul language in the workplace. They found that over 50% of workers reported they swear in the office and men were more likely to use curse words (54%) than women (47%).
And what was most interesting to me was that 81% surveyed believed that using profanity at work brings the “employee’s professionalism into question. ” Wow!
So why do over 50% do it, and 81% believe it isn’t professional? I’m not completely sure, but it is clear how most feel about it.
Some leaders use swearing as a means to instill fear in those they lead. Others use it to motivate. It is my personal belief that whatever the reason; they do more harm than good.
Here are three reasons you shouldn’t swear. It is hurting you as a leader more than you think.
1. Not Everybody Appreciates It. You might think everyone is like you, but they aren’t. Some people are offended and put off by bad language.
While some are okay with a few swear words, others can be highly offensive such as dropping the “F-Bomb” or using a Deity’s name in vain. It is better to just refrain completely from using any kind of profanity. Simply be sensitive to those who are sensitive.
2. You Don’t Seem Very Intelligent. I once heard that profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly. There is a reason 81% of people believe swearing is not very professional. Whether you think using foul language makes you seem less intelligent or not, there will most likely be someone around you who does.
3. You Lose Trust. If you don’t respect people enough to refrain from using profanities, then I personally am going to have a little bit of a trust issue with you as my leader. The leaders I have had who have refrained from swearing because they were sensitive to me, I have tended to trust the most.
If you can’t control yourself in what you say, you may be less likely to control yourself in what you do.
Do you struggle with profanity?