You know all those s***** deals the f****** a******* at Goldman Sachs and other sunk-the-economy companies have been making? I have some great news: Goldman Sachs employees aren’t allowed to e-mail about them any more.
OK, in this case, it’s actually terrible news for everybody but Goldman Sachs. But at least the investment bank’s employees will learn to communicate more professionally!
Goldman Sachs has issued an official ban on using profanity in e-mail. If it wasn’t a company suffering from hubris overload I’d approve; there really isn’t any reason to use profanity in anything you write in business communications. It’s a sign of laziness, and you don’t want to be seen as lazy by anyone in your business circles.
But in the case of Goldman Sachs, the loose communications style that’s been in place as a matter of corporate culture has helped the rest of us gain insight into Goldman Sach’s dealings. Let’s be frank; the same laziness that had high-level Goldman Sachs employees using uncensored expletives in written communication made them less likely to cover their tracks as they merrily committed fraud for personal gain.
OK, so I actually approve of the no-profanity edict at Goldman Sachs. It’s possible the the same enforced gentility prohibiting bad language could permeate their overall culture just a tiny bit and short-circuit a dirty deed or two before they happen. But forget Goldman Sachs.
What’s your company’s profanity etiquette policy?
People who know me well enough and do business with me for any period of time will attest to the fact that in casual conversation I use naughty words. And I’ve been known to drop the occasional F-Bomb for intentional effect even with people I barely know (when I know that they business I transact with them will conclude soon after).
And let me be clear: this isn’t about prudishness. There’s not a streak of that in me.
What I’m saying is that when you write something down and send it off into the ether, there is absolutely no reason for it to include profanity. It’s like making sure no pictures of yourself end up on Facebook that could get you in trouble later.
Think about Propriety and Etiquette before you write something: it’s a simple business change.