Profanity, CSR and Social Cohesion (or ‘never mind the b******s’ it’s the workplace)

Just saw on the BBC News website the results of a fantastic University of East Anglia study extolling the virtues of swearing at work. Not entirely surprised to learn that shared use of taboo language helps to bring a sense of team spirit and solidarity. They researchers do not, however, recommend trying to build rapport with your boss or customers with the odd expletive thrown into the pitch even if you are ‘mirroring’. This is a sharp social instrument – you need the emotional intelligence to exercise careful political judgment so as not to come off abusive or offensive. This would upset the delicate dynamic and you end up destroying not creating social equity according to the research.  

Maybe this whole movement can be legitimised like dress down Fridays. How about ‘Bad Language Mondays’ or ‘Amnesty Wednesdays’? Anythings goes, so long as you don’t hurt yourself or others.

So there you have it, a new CSR concept perhaps – swear and blind your way to career success and social cohesion. Do well and do good. Assuming the same dynamic works for information worker collaboration on web 2.0, all I need is some clever translation software and a suitable outlet for syndication of the PG version of this blog. Anything for more traffic.


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