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Workplace Behavior

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Understanding workplace behaviour: we are all individuals and at work we act in different ways. Luckily there are some indentifiable trends which managers can use to promote workplace harmony and productivity

I believe that when it comes to racism and discrimination and judgment, it all too often comes from people who are simply uneducated about other groups and parts of the world. How many times in class has Sam said something that made you take a step back and look at yourself in the mirror? I know there has been more than one time for me that I realized that I don't even really know why it is that I think the way I do. In fact, there have been multiple occasions in which I was proven wrong in my thinking or judgments of others.

None of this was as clear to me as it was when the Muslim students spoke in lecture on Tuesday. For all that the class knew, the girl named Sally was probably an exchange student from the Middle East, as she donned a hijab. However, when given a chance to speak, Sally told a stunned class of 750 that she was born and raised in Pittsburgh. From this moment on, I am now able to realize that religion is not race. I think that the main reason as to why I assumed Sally was from the Middle East is because I am, admittedly, extremely ill-informed in ways of other cultures and religions. For me, it has always been easier to assume that it has been to attempt to open a conversation with people different than myself.

I also believe that the environment I grew up in did not quite allow for the understanding of people too much unlike me. In a town where most are Christian, there was very little racial or cultural diversity. Because of this, I was never really taught nor did I see people interacting with Jewish people, Muslim people, etc. Ashamed to admit it, I just always assumed that since they did not live near me, and I never saw the ways in which they worship, that they must be vastly different from me or my family. Coming to Penn State, I met more Jewish people within the first week here than I knew in my entire life back home. I also quickly learned that they were really no different than me. Was I expecting them to preach about their beliefs and their Kosher food? I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I soon realized that upon meeting someone new, the first thing out of my mouth is never "I was baptized Catholic". So why should I accept anything like that from someone else?

I believe that people are subconsciously afraid and uncomfortable with what they do not know. Therefore, it is easy to assume that the unknown must be so much different that our known, because why else don't we know about it? The arguments are not strong, but it is easy to fall into a norm and difficult to venture out of your comfort zone or latent beliefs and reach out to someone, maybe unlike yourself, though probably vastly similar.

I have to say I completely agree that when we see a person that is from another country we view them as a completely different in a variety of aspects. I think part of the problem is too often we assume things. We assume that because people may come from a different country



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