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Blog - How much swearing is too much!

How much swearing is too much!

Posted by Stella Chandler 08/08/14

AngrySport is in the spotlight again for players behaving badly. This time it is cricket. The ICC is considering what next steps to take with James Anderson for swearing at another player. It could see him facing a ban.

And if so, this would be the right call.

We had a comparable situation with a client a little while ago, working with the markets in London – Spitalfields, Smithfields and Billingsgate. These are some of the more “robust” working environments around but even here banter had started to overstep the mark. We were asked to address this with managers and team members. Amongst the many issues, we got groups discussing and thinking through was the question of swearing. We and the senior management team accepted that we were never going to stop people swearing completely – but what we could do was to get people thinking about the impact of swearing specifically and aggressively at someone else. Team members understood that this was very different to “general” swearing to let off steam when you drop a box on your foot or your PC fails to respond!

It is vital to talk to team members about where the boundaries are and to be realistic in terms of expectations around behaviour – this will change from one company culture to another.

But once people know what is unacceptable they should be held to account.

Which is why the ICC is right to be considering further action!

For more information on managing appropriate behaviour at work have a look at our workshops

Stella Chandler
Stella Chandler

I thrive on seeing people do things they didn’t think they could do! I draw on my management and leadership experience from working in senior positions in the Metropolitan Police Service, running Focal Point since 2002 and working across all three sectors in the widest variety of environments. I am a fellow of the CIPD and when I am not working with clients I can be seen on the golf courses of Hampshire.

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