Using profane language and working in an investment bank may seem as apt a combination as wearing a stetson and rounding up cattle. But....
If you get it right, you can end up looking like Jamie Dimon – who earlier last week insisted there was ‘no bullsh*tting’ about the London Whale. If you get it wrong, you can end up looking like Mel Gibson in the midst of a meltdown.
These are the golden rules for workplace profanity:
1. Assess the culture
Cursing is a very context-dependent activity, said Oliver James, the psychologist and author of a new book on office politics. 'If you’re watching a football match, there will be a lot of swearing and it’s entirely appropriate to swear', said James. 'The same often applies on the trading floor. But I suspect, swearing in a commercial law team would not be approved of at all'.
2. Swear about issues, not individuals
Dimon’s profanity was used to rebuff the suggestion that the Bruno Iksil affair was covered up. This constitutes acceptable swearing, said Roy Cohen, a New York City careers coach and author of the Wall Street Professionals’ Survival Guide.
'You can refer to situations using a swear word, but never refer to individuals using a swear word', said Cohen. 'If you’re dealing with an issue that’s somewhat contentious or dramatic then using a swearword can emphasize your conviction and intensity'.
Hit the link below to access the complete eFinancialCareers article: