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What Are Appropriate Workplace Behaviors and Attitude?

Every workplace has its unique company culture, atmosphere, and environment. If there is one common theme you’ll find everywhere, it is that you should abide by proper workplace behavior. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or your position—how you behave will affect your and your organization’s success.

Distinguishing between appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the workforce is especially important in the defense acquisition industry. It’s a heavily disciplined field that involves working with many stakeholders, so it’s crucial to maintain integrity. To better discuss this topic, check this guide to learn about workplace behavior. 

Appropriate Behavior in the Workplace

So, what exactly counts as appropriate behavior in the workplace? It can be tricky to answer since there’s no one way to define appropriate workplace behavior, which can vary per company. But generally, the best conduct promotes positivity, civility, and respect by building good relationships and supporting your company’s mission and values. 

Beyond all these, it’s important to note that credibility is one of the essential traits of a successful Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition professional. As a government member, you must show that people can trust you—so it’s crucial to uphold your integrity and follow ethical standards of behavior.

 

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Identifying Inappropriate Behavior in the Workplace

Now that you have a better idea of what’s considered appropriate behavior, it’s equally important to know what counts as inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Again, this can take on many forms, but it generally boils down to behavior that negatively affects you, other employees, and the overall company. Here are a few examples: 

Dishonesty

Trust is crucial in the defense acquisition space, so dishonesty is undoubtedly one of the worst possible types of behavior you can have here. Whether accepting bribes or withholding important information, any dishonest act can destroy the public’s confidence in you. Some cases may even lead to legal issues down the line.

Gossiping

Compared to dishonesty, gossiping may seem like a harmless act. However, it’s highly unprofessional and can damage someone’s reputation or create a toxic work environment. Even the most minor stories can travel like wildfire, so you should always think twice before gossiping with your fellow employees.

Bullying

Bullying involves exerting power over another person, which may occur in the workplace. Some tactics may seem more explicit but may also be subtle. Examples include social isolation or undermining someone’s work. Bullying is always considered inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

Bias

Showing any form of bias is highly inappropriate, but many don’t realize how typical this behavior is in the workplace. Without realizing it, you may have unconscious biases that can affect your decision-making process or cause unwanted tension. Thus, keeping an open mind and avoiding making assumptions about anyone is essential. 

Defense acquisition specialists should know how to exercise professional judgment when conducting source selections. You should be objective and analyze critical factors like risk, cost, and performance, so having biases can cause you to favor certain offers over others. Similarly, having biased tendencies can also be damaging to your career. 

 

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Managing Situations Involving Inappropriate Work Behavior

What should you do if you notice someone misbehaving in the workplace? Handling these situations may be uncomfortable, but it’s important not to ignore them. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Create a Positive Work Culture.
    Company culture can largely influence how employees act in the workplace. Thus, you should create an open environment that doesn’t tolerate bad behavior and encourages people to speak up if problems arise. While this is more of a preventive measure, you should promote a positive culture from the start.
  • Enforce Clear Policies.
    To ensure everyone’s on the same page, you should enforce clear policies related to workplace behavior. Here, you can specify what’s considered inappropriate and outline procedures for disciplinary action. This way, your employees know how to act and won’t get caught off guard if someone calls them out for bad behavior. 
  • Provide “Constructive” Confrontation.
    In most cases, the best way to deal with inappropriate workplace behavior is to sit down and chat with the employee. You can have a civil discussion with them through a constructive confrontation, ask about what’s causing their behavior, and outline expectations for the future. 

Dealing with Difficult Coworkers

You may occasionally run into a problematic coworker—or perhaps even a few. While it’s easy to avoid them, the situation isn’t straightforward. If you have to work together on a project, here’s what you can do:

  • Examine your behavior

 It always helps to start with self-examination. Take some time to think about why you find it challenging to work with the person. Try to see if certain things easily trigger you. This way, you can better assess the situation and figure out what to do next.

  • Communicate your concerns

It never hurts to approach your colleague and communicate your concerns since they might not know about your sentiments. So by being open and transparent, you can avoid arguments and find common ground to execute your project successfully. 

  • Stay professional

It’s easy to get swayed by your emotions when dealing with a difficult coworker. However, you should stay professional since doing otherwise can lead to inappropriate behavior in the workplace

  • Speak with your supervisor

If you’ve exhausted every means possible and still can’t work peacefully, consider speaking with your supervisor. Let them know how your coworker is behaving and impacting your work, then ask for advice on how to proceed. 

good workplace

Tips on Maintaining Professionalism in the Workplace

Professionalism is one of the essential characteristics you should have at work, especially in a field as rigorous as defense acquisition. So to help you maintain appropriate workplace behavior, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Establish clear boundaries between your personal and work-life
  • Build a professional image by dressing appropriately
  • Demonstrate integrity and take accountability for your actions
  • Develop self-awareness and manage your emotions

Take dasg’s Program to Become a Successful Acquisition Professional.

To be a successful DoD acquisition professional, you must distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the workplace and build good working relations. So if you need help in this regard, dasg offers a Defense Acquisition Leadership Training & Development Program to build your technical skills and develop a good work ethic. For more information on our program, call us today at (540) 202-1740.

 

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