Presentation Abstract: In a world where diversity and inclusion are at the forefront, communication between co-workers is important to consider (Sharma, 2021). The need to reduce unconscious biases in the workplace, which are often expressed through our words, can help create a more effective and conducive work environment (Ceridian, 2021). As noted nearly a decade ago by Robinson (2012), “As with any phraseology that has evolved into present-day communications, the “back story” of how a phrase acquired its meaning can influence the meaning itself and impose an entirely different conceptual framework to the communication than intended” (p. 8). Therefore, it is necessary to create workplaces which are considered safe and respectful (Skrzypinski, 2013) by reexamining communication patterns among co-workers.
The improper use of words has been found to impact workplace dynamics. For example, the use of slang in various instances has been connected with bullying, an unacceptable workplace practice (Prayson and Rowe, 2019). The potential for deteriorating workplace conditions increases as word choice becomes less selective. According to Wrike (2016), 27 percent of those responding to their survey on workplace behavior noted that swearing in the workplace could increase the potential for hostile behavior among co-workers. Due to these noted issues in communication and “political correctness,” this pilot study examines attitudes about slang, bullying/rudeness in the workplace, and policies (James, 2008; Guo, 2016).
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