“So…you have to take down the cuss word on your home page.”
This came from a business consultant I spoke to recently. She wanted to review my business, website, offerings, etc in order to assess my strengths and weaknesses with the work I’m doing in life coaching and coaching in healthcare. Ultimately, she wants to help me grow my business but this was not the advice I was expecting.
This sentence came out shortly after she had just praised me on my branding, offerings, podcast and how authentic she felt like I was.
“Working with faith associated healthcare organizations, you are going to have to tone it down.”
What the fork!
I took a breath to choke back my initial response and then said calmly, “I toned it down for years and look where that led me…into despair, burnout and living an inauthentic life. I played the type of doctor that ‘I thought I should be’ and it got me a whole lot of baggage. I am now showing up as who I am. Good, bad and all in between. That’s not changing.”
I ask her if my cursing offended her. She replied, “No, I don’t think it’s a problem but if you want to start consulting with these organizations, you are going to have to remove it or replace it.”
“So, is it because I’m a woman using strong language or a doctor? Because as you well know, both doctors and women cuss. And I’m not attacking or directing my language at anyone. It’s an expression. It’s colorful. It’s me.”
She laughed because she is in emergency medicine, “No, I totally get it. I just had to tell you this.” (Also a quick shout out to all my EM colleagues…you are badass mutha forkers!!)
That got me thinking, “Do I want to go here? Do I want to jump into consulting, build a totally separate website so I can show up politically correct as a physician consultant yet maintain another website where I’m raw and real? What does this imply?”
I actually talked about this exact issue with a fellow colleague on my podcast, Doctor Me First episode 23entitled “The F word with Dr. Allie Thomas-Fannin.” iTunes blocks you with explicit language in your title, come to find out so hence the change (should have used Fork I guess). She discusses how cursing can actually be insightful for the patient encounter.
So what say you? Should doctors cuss? Should we ‘clean up our acts’ to appease others? Should we be real in some places but change ourselves in others?
Watch for my next blog post on my response but I would love to hear yours too!