Set up: For this assignment, I want you to “take a trip” to a professional setting in order to observe and consider the behavioral norms of people in it and the values they reflect. It’s important to be aware of (and probably adapt to) the behavioral norms of one’s workplace to better serve your employer, clients, and co-workers. Just like how the personalities of the companies will differ, the behavioral norms (value systems, expected behavior, vocabulary) will also differ.
This assignment will require you to do some firsthand research and observe (or take a trip to) a workplace. To study the behavioral norms of a workplace and make inferences about the behavioral norms of this setting. You must list the specific workplace you’re observing.
I’d like you to detail the facts of the behavioral norms of this setting. Some things you can look for:
Vocabulary – is there a set of vocabulary one would have to know to function in this setting.
Behaviors – how should people in this setting conduct themselves? What is expected of those engaging in this setting? Is it an easygoing environment? Is it a bit more conservative? What’s the general mode like?
Dress code – what kind of uniform (if any) would one need, in order to navigate this environment? Is there a formal dress-code upheld? Is it a more casual atmosphere where formal dress would be laughed at?
Feel free to list any other observations you make about what will comprise the “identity kit” that’s needed to exist in this setting.
For every observation, try and think about what values the observation reflects? What does this community value? How do things like the dress-code, the vocabulary, the expected behavior reflect these values?
With regards to the last bullet point, when you make inference into what values/goals the observations represent, it may be helpful to think about what the discourse values as a whole are. For example, if we think about a business like the military, it’s likely accurate to say the business values discipline, uniformity, order, hierarchy, etc.
Formatting: This report should be single spaced, include paragraph breaks between paragraphs, make effective use of the formatting tools available to you (bold, italics, headings, etc.), and be organized in a way that is easy to read and understand.
The biggest mistake you can make here is to write it in narrative or chronological style. Narrative style usually means you’re using a lot of “I” statements (e.g. I arrived at the tech conference at 9 am to register and participate in a meet and great. Then, I attended the first workshop). You do not want to adopt this style of writing. Instead, be considerate of your reader and categorize information from the audience’s perspective – by the results you achieved, what you learned, what you observed, or the people you interacted with. Or, in our case, by vocabulary, dress code, behavior, and values.
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