Let's dip into my opinions on profanity in the workplace:
Is refraining for calling 'Bullsh*t' damaging to your business...?
Yes, I just typed a bad word there. 'Bullsh*t'.
Shocking to many in the business world, I know!
It's true. I swear. And by 'swear' I mean, I say bad words (on occasion and where I deem necessary).
Even in meetings.
Even in front of the most junior and most senior people within an organisation alike.
Many have an issue with that. And that's understandable.
But when I do it, there is a strategic goal being strived for. Profanity is a tactical tool. And one that can be used to fantastic impact if done correctly!
Outside of the heavily corporate world... An organisation rarely comes crashing down because of profanity...
First things first... Don't be a d*ck!
Profanity should never be directed at an individual.
That would be bullying and that makes you a di*k.
I don't like bullies. Never have. And that kind of thing doesn't happen on my watch!
But we're talking about profanity here as a tool.
You see, one of my favourite books is 'The Hard Thing About Hard Things', by Ben Horowitz.
In his book he explains rather elegantly, that profanity has been one of his most effective tools.
Large corporates, public sector organisations and so on have the time for bureaucracy.
They often have many layers of insulation between their actions and the results of those actions.
For those of us in the private sector, in new, growing, scaling organisations.
Where the next deal, the new system, the looming acquisition, mean the difference between success, or failure...
Between everyone having a career-defining moment, or being out of a job.
Then consider which of these following phrases will bring about the greater urgency and focus from the teams involved:
1) "We need to ensure this acquisition goes ahead as planned. Our revenues are under pressure and we need an injection of capital in order to maintain our status in the market". < i.e. 'Corporate-speak'
2) "Listen close, everyone. And I mean everyone! If this acquisition fails, this business and with it, our jobs, are fu*ked! So let's get to work!" < i.e. What I like to call, 'Startup Vernacular'
I often argue this point with business owners.
If you are not willing to upset someone by using a bad word.
When that bad word is directed to a situation and not them as an individual.
Then you are likely to struggle with the challenges ahead.
There is often precious little room between success and failure. And if failure occurs because someone didn't like you using a bad word.
I'd argue the failure is one that could have been avoided.