Motivation through Profanity.

By Chris Lott | Management | 4534 Views | 4 Comments    

Isn’t cursing by a manager, CEO, employee, or even a small business owner simply showing that they’re passionate about their work? That the use of foul language enforces needed emphasis and motivation to others? Many think so… What do you think?

How did you feel when in a meeting, in a one on one, or just overhearing a supervisor using foul language to drive a point home? Did it really do that?


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Unfortunately over the years I have been in meeting after meeting where this goes on. Many times escalating to belittling an individual or group of individuals. Negativity at it’s extreme.

At one of my employers I unfortunately witnessed this a few times. One instance stands out from the rest. There was a mistake made on a deal that infuriated the owner. He literally walked up and down the halls where the sales team had their offices and f-bombed everyone in his anger. Totally out of control. After cooling down… He came to me later and asked if he was wrong in getting his point across.

I explained that using foul language never really helps getting the “point across”. “Cursing and belittling the staff coming from someone of authority has a much more negative impact than you can imagine.” I further explained that “If you thought this would be a teaching moment you missed it totally.”

I wish I could tell you this changed his attitude and he stopped doing the out of control bursts of foul mouth tyraids. It didn’t. Just too much of a habit to break I guess. Most of the employees tolerate it and the ones that couldn’t left. All with a lower opinion of him. How different things could be with a little self constraint and professionalism.

“A manager with a foul mouth intimidates employees rather than inspires them. He or she also sets a bad example and jeopardizes the respect and admiration he needs for a loyal work force. His behavior shows a lack of character and emotional control, qualities employees expect from an employer”. – James V. O’Connor, President of the Cuss Control Academy

We need to be careful… “If a clear connection can be made between hostile language and the perceived motives of a harasser against a category of person(s) that are protected by law” there could be some legal ramifications as well.

Social Media and other Virtual Venues
Is this really any different? You never know who is actually reading your status update or comment. A customer, a potential customer, a manager, and/or employee could be on the receiving end. Again a possible loss of respect and admiration.

I was on facebook the other day and one of my long-time business connections shared a status from someone obviously lacking any reasonable vocabulary. Within the 10 paragraphs of trying to prove how ignorant a specific earlier comment was they interjected the f word at least as many times as paragraphs. Not only did it not “motivate” me but now I had to question my business contact connectivity going forward.

So how can we make changes to our behavior and mindset on using foul language?

Ten Tips for Taming Your Tongue

    1. Recognize that swearing does damage.
    2. Start by eliminating casual swearing.
    3. Think positively.
    4. Practice being patient.
    5. Cope, don’t cuss.
    6. Stop complaining.
    7. Use alternative words.
    8. Make your point politely.
    9. Think of what you should have said.
    10. Work at it.

Resource: Cuss Control Academy

As anyone that has worked with me knows this has been a pet peeve of mine for some time. I just don’t believe it is necessary to curse in a professional environment. I also have zero tolerance for cursing in any social media discourses. In my mind there should be no room for the f-bomb and taking the Lords name in vain interjections. It adds nothing to the conversation that a great vocabulary couldn’t overcome.

If you find yourself using foul language to prove a point or to motivate change immediately. Make a conscience effort to increase your vocabulary and get rid of these ignorant words and phrases. Who knows what possibilities await with your new found word power.

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Chris Lott has this crazy creative side that motivates him to design websites and write articles. He's a disruptive technologist and is passionate about sales, family, and anything related to technology. See what others are saying about his work!.


4 thoughts on “Motivation through Profanity.

  1. Passion can be expressed in many ways without cursing or profanity. Does this person curse at customers as well as vendors and employees? Why not? Aren’t they passionate in those situations as well? I suggest that anger may move people but won’t motivate. Take a look at the qualities of Emotional Intelligence. Quality, creative and motivated employees don’t have to work for someone who curses and uses intimidation. Treat people with respect, passion has nothing to do with these behaviors.

  2. Sharon Zwaagstra • Cursing is a tool for short-sighted, stupid, unimaginative people, those who wish to intimidate others or those have issues with anger, narcissism and self-control. To me it shows disrespect for everyone within earshot, lack of character, lack of perspective and creativity, and an overall unwillingness to deal with issues in an appropriate and well thought out manner. Unless you just hit your thumb with a hammer, I don’t want to hear it.

  3. Like it or not, it’s a status indicator. The higher up the food chain the speaker is, the greater their verbal privileges. It’s an “I don’t need to care what you think” symbol, but on the other side of the coin it’s also a form of bonding with your inside group. Top managers are acutely aware of their changing audiences (or they wouldn’t have gotten there in the first place) and adjust their language for the situation.

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