Bad Words and Customers (and granny, too) by Dwayne Castle
I was in the Navy during Desert Storm and I left active duty in 1992. Upon my arrival back into civilian life there was a family gathering and everybody was sitting around laughing and talking, having a great time but then I noticed it got very quiet and all eyes were on me. "Why is everyone looking at me," I asked. I was told that I had just asked granny to "pass the F-ing potatoes." Ouch!
Being out to sea, sharing life with hundreds of guys from around the country and from various backgrounds brought out a bit of the barbarian in me. Many of us didn't have much in common, but there is a reason for the phrase "he swears like a drunken sailor"; most of us, certainly not all, picked up on the salty-language of the sea service.
The problem is that I entered back into civilized society and had not left that salted vocabulary behind. It was a shock to others, and to myself, because I would never intentionally disrespect someone the way that I had accidentally done that day. Because I was made aware of my error, I was able to make a change and now 25+ years later I can't even remember the last time I let a profanity slip from these lips.
I picked up a pizza the other day and while waiting, I was making small talk with the manager who was a funny guy. He had a great attitude, kept me informed on the progress of my cracker-crust cheese pizza, and was telling me about the blankety blank lug nuts on his vehicle. By "blankety blank" I mean that he was using foul language to tell me about the dilemma he was facing with his car.
This morning, I tuned into a video presentation by a highly published business leader as he was sharing for a moment on how to prove your worth to your boss. His ideas were good, but again, he felt the need to drop a bit of colorful language into the presentation.
I'm not good at the digital marketing of my material. I love to write but I don't like trying to figure out the best way for me to get my ideas in front of other people. There are so many options out there and for every option there are tons of "experts."
One of the ways that I've attempted to improve my ability to build my audience is to attend various webinars where those experts share some of their secrets to successfully doing what it is that I want to do. Unfortunately, several of these experts have felt the need to lace their presentations with language, including many F-Bombs.
I'm a big boy and I don't get offended but since my focus is on helping people become less self-centered and more Relationally Driven, I wonder if these people are even aware of what is coming out of their mouths. If they are aware, do they believe that by using said language that they improve their message?
I've never heard of any person getting offended by the use of polite language. There are however, large segments of the population who do get bothered by profane and vulgar language.
I want to encourage you today to be mindful of the words you are speaking as you are interacting with your customers and potential clients, co-workers and acquaintances, or as you are sitting around the table with your family and friends. They deserve the best you, and so do you.
Thank you for reading this today. I hope it caused a thought and a smile. Feel free to share your thoughts with me and to pass along this post to those in your sphere of influence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR- Dwayne Castle is the owner of Relationally Driven- a performance coaching venture which exists to help businesses and individuals improve the soft-skills necessary to grow their spheres of influence, improve employee retention, increase their bottom lines, and realize their dreams. He recently published his first book, The Relationally Driven Approach and is currently working on book two in The Relationally Driven Series.