Should leaders ever swear?

It’s a phenomenon that’s the subject of a 2007 study published in the Leadership and Organizational Development Journal by Yehuda Baruch and Stuart Jenkins of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. 

They surveyed existing literature on why, when and how people swear in professional settings and conducted focus groups to better understand the practice.

Baruch and Jenkins group workplace profanity into 2 types: “Social Swearing” are generally used in casual conversation, and “annoyance swearing” the “Oh sh*t’ variety that’s especially common in high stress environments like that of the trading floors.

They see value in both types of usage. 

Social swearing “can serve to manifest and signal solidarity”, they write, while annoyance swearing “provides a relief mechanism” for tension and stress.

While their analysis resonated with most. Like most people, I try to limit my usage of R-rated language, if possible, none at all, though in truth I’m much more concerned with this self-censorship at home around my children than around colleagues at work.

I used to work for bosses who drop the f-bomb now and again. But most of the time, they might be using it simply out of habits. So, I just ignore it.

However, in current day and age, I think, swearing at work, in professional setting, you should just ,NEVER SWEAR.

Remember that . . 

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Beware of injustice. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising. Beware of coarseness. Allah does not love those who are coarse and foul mouthed. Beware of avarice for it destroyed those before you. They cut off their relatives. Allah summoned them and they made lawful what was unlawful.

Grade Sahih (Al-Albani)
Reference  : Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 487
In-book reference  : Book 28, Hadith 5
English translation  : Book 28, Hadith 487


Categories: Careers & Work Life Pro Tip, Personal Development, Quotes

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