How easy it is at work to lose two core values; decency and truthfulness. Whether it be the words from our mouths that cross these values or how we treat one another, these two values are ones that can either build or lose your reputation in the workplace. Let’s start with decency. There is decency with a capital D that for me is the obvious conforming with the laws of decency. At work there are plenty of policies today that will tell you what these are. Just the training of sexual harassment is enough to guide you for what is acceptable at work or not. But there are other forms of decency that must be observed. How one treats or talks about their peers, their boss, and/or their staff members, can cross a line of decency that is damaging beyond repair. We take it so often for granted that the back-biting or talking down to others is just common place for business today. Being decent to others is a higher form of being a good person. Another form of decency is in the words that we choose to use. When I became the CEO of SNOCAP in 2005 I made the decision that I was going to change my vocabulary (more like clean it up) and not use profane words in the workplace. I was not always perfect but what I did notice that was without ever saying anything to anyone about my expectations of them as to their language, I noticed that if I didn’t curse, they didn’t curse. And if they did, it was usually followed by an apology to the group. Believe me, in my business career, I have said it all and heard it all too, so I’m not a Puritan or a prude. Instead, I try and follow what Paul had to say in Romans 13:13, “We should be decent and true in everything, so that everyone can approve of our behavior”. You see, when you are decent at work you get a high approval rating. It’s foundational and the perfect place to start as you work to be approved in what you do. It’s a simple lesson but I recognize not as simple to implement. However, today is as good of a day as any to change out the indecent words that you might use and be sure to do like my father taught me, “if you don’t have anything good to say about someone else, just don’t say anything at all”.
Reference – Romans 13:13 (New Living Testament)