Communication – do you need to swear?

Incident: At a press conference at the company’s Cupertino headquarters to address problems with the iPhone 4’s antenna, Jobs said a Bloomberg Business Week report (asserting that he had been warned about potential problems) was"total bullshit.”Aftermath: Reporters covering the press conference criticized Jobs for being condescending.

In a recent Forbes post, the reporter quotes Dr. Robert Sutton, a Professor at Stamford Engineering School, who believes that

“There are times when cursing adds emphasis and does not necessarily hurt your image,”

Later in the post, the author of a study in 2006, Mr Cory Scherer states

“Swearing is a way of communicating that you are the most important person in the room,”

OK.  At the risk of sounding like an old granny here I don’t agree.  Feel free to comment on this too.

Swearing doesn’t hurt your image.

There are arguments for and against this, I’m sure.  I cannot see how swearing doesn’t hurt your reputation.  Not everyone swears – FACT.  Anyone incorporating foul language in their communication will never endear themselves to a non-swearing audience.  Therefore, that audience will have an effect on the image of the speaker.  As we already know, with social media and internet conversations moving globally at such speed, once you have said something it’s out there forever.  And it does return to haunt you.  The media love to resurrect such things.  See picture and caption at the top of this post.

Swearing says “I’m the most important”

Well, this motivation will certain draw attention to the speaker.  However, if a leader wants to state this, then I would struggle to follow him.  I don’t want to follow someone who believes in his own self-importance – and if swearing emphasises this, as the report’s author above seems to infer, then “no thanks.”

My conclusion: If you can’t say what you need to say to me with truth and love, in a calm manner, then please don’t think that swearing is going to make me listen.

The question for you today is very simple.  Do you agree or disagree and why?

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About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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