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Could cursing have a place in your job?

I love Guy Kawasaki.  He’s such a low-key guy, but then as you’re standing around having a beer, he’ll say something unconventionally brilliant.  Guy’s latest book, “Enchantment,” instructs us on how to influence people the magical way he does — he was, after all, one of the Apple employees responsible for marketing the lowly Mac in 1984.

I love Guy Kawasaki. He’s such a low-key guy, but then as you’re standing around having a beer, he’ll say something unconventionally brilliant. Guy’s latest book, “Enchantment,” instructs us on how to influence people the magical way he does — he was, after all, one of the Apple employees responsible for marketing the lowly Mac in 1984.


Guy says that it’s important to be likeable, a point no one will dispute. But he also goes on to suggest that swearing is a good strategy. Why? Swearing apparently arouses attention, builds solidarity and conveys informality, so it increases our acceptance by all but the most prudish individuals.


Sure, Guy has rules (see sidebar). And I’ll buy that some harmless swearing at work can help achieve likeability. But my opinion is that it’s best reserved for the company of close colleagues on lunch break.


Even if your boss is acting like a hypocritical jerk, calling him or her out with a swear word or two probably won’t enhance your career potential. And double standards abound: It might not be appreciated from women, or those at the bottom of the ladder who are working to build professional reputations.

— Alexandra Levit is the author of “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World.”


Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.

 
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