Professional work environments key pointers

Key Points to maintaining a professional environment

Professional language- obscenities always bring down the level of professionalism.

Timeliness- this is a sign of courtesy and respect. Of course there are instances of running late, but repetitive tardiness is not professional. Being tardy shows lack of caring for the class or appointment.

No cell phones- unless specifically for work purposes. Cell phones are a distraction. Period. A student or employee needs to commit full attention to the task at hand.

Alcohol and drugs- not ok. Intoxicants are also distractions. Leave them for after class, after work, or abstain completely.

Racist comments or racist jokes- not ok. EVER. If any of this is going on around you- stop it immediately. By letting it continue you are enforcing that racist comments are acceptable.

Sexual Harassment- also not ok. EVER. In fact report it. It is wise to take a course followed by refresher courses to help you recognize the signs of sexual harassment. It is imperative you know who to report this conduct to.

Harassment in general- not ok. By the time students are in college no matter what age that is, a level of maturity needs to be established. As the instructor you need to have situational awareness of what is happening within your classroom environment. Harassment can come in many forms i.e. age, race, gender, etc.

Do not belittle someone in front of a crowd- don’t belittle someone regardless. However if you need to have a discussion about someone’s performance do it in a closed environment and try to make it constructive. Having a single witness available is good to make sure words are understood and not misconstrued.

Yelling is not ok- unless in an extreme safety emergency. If you find yourself yelling- you have already lost an inner battle of self-control. Self-control is important to have in a professional working environment.

Lead by example- perform as you want your students or employees to act. Don’t set rules for others that you yourself cannot follow. Don’t be a hypocrite. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others.

Learn what motivates people- every single student or employee comes from a different background. Different things will motivate them to complete an assignment well. Finding what makes an individual ticks in your best interest to get the best outcome!


A personal example of inappropriate behavior:

At the age of 25 I was sent to a radiation training course at an international training center in Charleston, SC. After graduating on the last day of school I had a few drinks with other students on base at a pub. After closing out for the night we were running around the barracks hallways and on a dare, I pulled a fire extinguisher off the wall and sprayed it everywhere. It was a dry chemical extinguisher which clouded up the entire hallway and suffocated the fire detector which in turn set off the fire alarm in the barracks. This was roughly two in the morning. So now this three story barracks building has lights flashing on every floor like a Christmas tree and the fire department responding and everyone had to evacuate.

My awarded punishment was deserved for that inappropriate stunt. It was at an international training center for all places for me to act irresponsible. It was COMPLETELY unprofessional of me in the worst way. I was supposed to be representing my branch of the military and just added fodder to the barrel. My judgement was impaired by alcohol and I acted foolishly. I put a shame on our name at school that day and I would definitely take it back to restore a little honor and pride in that branch of the military.


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