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Workplace Ethics # 3 Recognize Boundaries

I once worked in a place where people would carry snacks and some times lunch packs that would all bee kept in the kitchen. The truth is that it was a new culture for me so I had no idea what was to be shared and what was personal. The kitchen was open to all of us and you were allowed to make a cup of tea or coffee any time you wanted. Sometimes we even had free snacks on the house which happened more often than not.
My first day in that kitchen was exciting but also confusing. I was new on the job and did not want to embarrass myself or cross the wrong lines. It took me about ten minutes to figure out which cups I could use and which ones were personal. Fortunately the office assistant walked in just when I was about to give up on tea so she generously oriented me about the kitchen etiquette in that organization.

Whenever you go into a new place, it is important to familiarize yourself with the pre set boundaries. Some things are never put in writing yet they are so fundamental to the organisational culture. Organisations like people; are governed by patterns.
The easiest way to understand boundaries is by asking your supervisor or colleagues about the way business is conducted in your new work space. Find out what is acceptable and what is not by asking relevant questions within your first encounter in a new place.
The second way to understand boundaries is through observation. When you walk into a new work space, spend more time observing than trying to prove yourself. Watch how people relate and respond to each other, in no time you will have figured out the patterns and hierarchical orders.
First impressions are very important so you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side as a newbie in your workplace. Some people prefer to be addressed a certain way and the earlier you learn such small details the better.

As a new person in a workplace, mind your business as much as possible unless invited​ to meddle in some non official interactions. Until you understand the unwritten boundaries of your workplace, pay attention to every detail.
Make use of every opportunity to ask with the intention to learn. Your success in a workplace is greatly determined by the strength of your relationships with other people. Take the time to understand and respect boundaries in your workplace.

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