Why proper language is crucial in the executive suite

Profanity, verbal tics, and generational patois can undermine your credibility and hinder your career growth.

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I worked directly for a CEO many years ago. I was the company’s first director of communications, the only woman in the top echelon, and the youngest by a good 10 years.

As someone who appeared poised to push her fists through that particular glass ceiling, I was careful. Very careful.

I dressed conservatively, in suits. I listened more than I spoke. And I watched my language.

Though society has relaxed considerably since the padded-shoulder days of the 1980s, it still makes sense for writers and other communications professionals to conduct themselves carefully in the executive suite. After all, you’re playing in someone else’s sandbox. (If you want to behave exactly as you like, you’ll have to start your own business.)

Here’s how the rules work:

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