Religious at Work: Verbal Communication

Religious at Work is a series about my experience balancing a religious lifestyle with the demands of a full-time job in a secular environment.

religious at workProfessional people speak eloquently, clearly and confidently.

At least that’s what I thought when I entered the work force. Boy was I wrong.

I’ve watched my fair share of movies so I’ve heard bad words. Now that I commute via public transportation and walk through crowded streets I’ve also been called plenty of bad words (that’ll have to be a post for another time). But even with all of that “life experience” the language people use at work still surprises me.

I expected professional people to speak like adults… not angry teenagers.

Over the years I’ve worked for different firms, worked in different office locations and different departments within the same company. You can say that I’ve worked in many different environments throughout the years.

Depending on the environment, the language is different. If it’s a younger crowd, it seems like there is more cursing. This of course is just my opinion.

No matter how angry or upset people are there’s always a better way to express their feelings than using 4 letter words that don’t really mean anything. Or they really mean something other than what the person is trying to communicate.

The only way I can change how people around me speak is by setting a good example. I’ve noticed that people are more aware of their cursing when they know I don’t speak like that. Being aware is the first step. After that I hope that they slowly begin speaking more appropriately in my presence. If they do, maybe their language will flow into other social situations. Maybe I’m dreaming, but I can hope, can’t I?

The ways I deal with these “cursers” is usually by smiling and then politely leaving the conversation. I have to make sure to stand strong and not stoop to their level!  After all, I have a reputation to uphold!

Do you work in an environment where people use controversial language? How do you deal with it?  Please share any advice you have.

Until next time,

  • This is a tough one! I remember working in such an environment…where every other word was a curse word. There was no need for anger, it was just how they spoke. When I left, I realized how toxic it was and I felt so relieved to not have to be in that environment anymore!