According to a recent survey referenced in a BNET article, swearing can actually boost team spirit. Yes, you heard it correctly. And preventing workers from swearing can actually have a detrimental effect, according to Professor Yehuda Baruch of the University of East Anglia.
According to the article:
“… our study suggested that, in many cases, taboo language serves the needs of people for developing and maintaining solidarity, and as a mechanism to cope with stress. Banning it could backfire. The challenge is to master the art of knowing when to turn a blind eye to communication that does not meet with their own standards.”
Now I think we can all agree that there are instances in which swearing is not appropriate, say at a client meeting or when you’re in a heated discussion with another employee. Keele University’s Richard Stephens also advises employees to swear if they accidentally hurt themselves, based on a study that explored how long college students could keep their hands in cold water.
The students who swore lasted an average of 40 seconds longer than the students who did not.
Pretty fascinating stuff, right? Of course, we know that swearing isn’t a part of Dale Carnegie’s tried-and-true principles, but it’s easy to see how letting off some steam in a nonphysical way that’s not directed at anyone can be a healthy way to move past an issue.
But we’re curious what you think: Is swearing ever OK in an office setting? Do you swear on the job? How do you think it’s perceived by others? Share your opinion in the comments section.
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