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THE LEADERSHIP PRACTICE MODULE The Australian workplace is unique; it has evolved over the years from a multi-cultural base and may be completely different to anything you have experienced in your home country. The aim of the practice module within the context of the Leadership Development Program is to give you a true insight into Australian culture and leadership styles within the workplace. This will enable you to observe leadership from an Australian perspective. It will give you the opportunity to build networks and develop relationships for the future and through your observations it will assist with your personal development of your leadership style. • Be prepared to be challenged to manage your own personal expectations during your placement. • Embrace the opportunity of observing leadership in action both the positives and negatives. • Take the time to reflect on your observations and how this will affect you in the future in dealing with work colleagues. This online module has been designed to prepare you for the Australian workplace and give you an insight into some of the general expectations, style and etiquette that you may encounter during your placement. BUSINESS ETIQUETTE The definition of Business Etiquette is “a code that governs the expectations of social behavior in a workplace, in a group or a society. Business Etiquette tells the individual how to behave when dealing with situations in a working environment however trivial the situation, in particular it applies to co-worker interaction and communication with colleagues”.
To summarise: Business etiquette is all about communicating and interacting with people in an appropriate manner for the workplace as opposed to a social setting. With the right etiquette you will find it much easier to manage your tasks, gain vital information from your peers and communicate exactly what your needs are. A simple guide to follow to help you understand the foundations of good business etiquette are in the three R’s:-
Always introduce yourself by name and use other people’s name when you are introduced to them and also when you greet them. In Australia it is common place to expect work colleagues to address each other by their first names regardless of their importance and/or seniority within the organisation. Respect Treat all people within the organisation with the same respect and courtesy and don’t differentiate that by their importance and seniority. Teamwork is essential to the effective running of any organisation. If the receptionist doesn’t deliver your messages or the IT manager doesn’t fix your computer the whole organisation is placed at risk – albeit from simple lack of respect. Responsibility Your placement comes with a set of responsibilities to yourself, your workplace and to the Placement Program. We respect the professionalism and prior workplace knowledge you bring with you and we expect that you will be able to communicate well with all stakeholders. Think critically about your tasks and projects, learn as much as possible and act in a responsible manner.
understand and learn. charts and displays Be open minded Share your suggestions and ideas with your work colleagues Think • • • • Learn • • • Act • • Do what you are asked to do and communicate your progress Understand your employers’ expectations of you and your standard of performance. reflect and retain new knowledge and information Be willing to apply newfound knowledge and information Be open to learn new things Think critically and act logically to always evaluate situations.These simple rules will help you get the most out of your time with the organisation or department. comprehend. process. instruments. pre-conceived ideas or interruptions blocking the message • • • Read. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS Communicate • • Write effectively in the language in which business is conducted Actively listen. solve problems and make decisions Use common-sense – are your ideas practical and achievable? Ask for advice or seek help. Constantly learn. and use written materials such as graphs. if required Use technology. tools and information systems effectively . Active listening is probably one of the hardest skills to acquire. To actually listen without judgment.
However. Hint: Meetings may appear (and actually be) boring to you. The more you are exposed to new ideas and new people. network. Hint: While you want to keep your supervisor abreast of your accomplishments. and build relationships. the more you'll learn. Never miss a Chance to Learn More about the Company/Industry: Take every opportunity presented to you to attend company or industry meetings.as well as give progress reports in a professional and diplomatic manner. meet people from other departments. participate in training workshops. However. do not let that stop you express your interest to from tackle new tasks. conferences. Get as Much Exposure as Possible: Some of the placements will rotate you among departments and supervisors. if yours doesn't.good and bad -. Use these meetings to increase your knowledge. and accept extended invitations to company social events.ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ACTIONS Have regular meetings with your Supervisor(s): Sound obvious? Maybe. but you may get a supervisor who never schedules meetings with you. . remember to also be a good listener and learn as much as you can during these meetings. and events. Ensure you have regular meetings where you can share experiences and lessons learned -. this is an excellent opportunity to observe team dynamics and leadership within the workplace. or travels quite a bit. and read all company materials.
Seek advice and raise questions whenever you encounter something that is not familiar to you. While the employer may expect a certain level of work from you. Hint: Your supervisor could be your mentor. Hint: Smart people know that there really is no such thing as a silly question. .remember that you don't know everything and learning is a lifelong process.and make sure you share successes with him/ her. Take Initiative: Embrace tackling tough problems and think "outside the square" in finding solutions. Be openminded about new ideas and procedures -. ask questions. Just make sure you work with your supervisor(s) so you don't overstep your authority -. so ask before doing." and for interns especially. etc and act as an advocate on your behalf.Don't be Afraid to Ask Questions: Always remember that a placement is a learning experience for you. Hint: There is a fine line between taking initiative and being perceived as a "know-it-all. you are not expected to know everything. Find a Mentor: A mentor is someone at a higher level in the organisation that looks out for you and makes sure you are learning what you need to know and accomplishing what you need to do. A mentor can also shield you from office politics and be a good sounding board for you to discuss ideas. it is best to err on the side of caution. but it could also be another person within the organisation.
Hint: Your Guided Reflective Journal is a key tool and the purpose of this is to deepen your learning about leadership through reflection on your daily observations. met with clients. Build professional relationships with your supervisor(s) and other managers in the organisation. Network. It helps you to develop the skills you need and satisfaction for a job well done. Set realistic workplace and development goals: One of your goals with any placement is leaving it with some tangible results . computerized an inventory system. Maybe you developed a brochure. Hint: Whatever your goals. As well as observing what is happening. organized a sales conference. What do you want? If you think honestly about what you would most like to accomplish in your placement before you begin you will be more likely to achieve it. This in turn promotes a greater rapport with Management as they realise that you are able to cope with the environment and gives a greater sense of well-being leading to a positive outcome. the sense of accomplishment you will feel once you achieve them is well worth the effort.both for your resume and your career portfolio (if you use one). Hint: Embrace all relationships as the people you meet today may offer a connection or alliance in your future. Setting goals before you take the placement and during your experience on a regular basis is a smart way to measure your own capabilities. etc. think about how this makes you feel and you how you might make improvements. Network: One of the key tools of life is utilizing your network to prepare for your next career step. .Network. tracked industry trends. These people are also a good source information from their years of experience.
It is simply biological! However. once made that first impression can prove hard to shift. grooming and accessories. In a glance. It only takes three seconds to create an indelible first impression that can either intrigue or disillusion. first impressions count.A few questions to ask yourself before you placement begins: 1 2 Why did I take this placement? Experience. We are all looking for common clues to deduce whether or not the person in front of us is friend or foe. Once you have established what they are it is easier to set realistic workplace and developmental goals. body language. People are unintentionally judgmental. It is just human nature Right or wrong. Set your bar high and aim to be the best you can be. relationship building. You need to look as though you will fit in. strengthen you own personal leadership competencies? 3 How can I effectively achieve this? Answering these questions truthfully will give you an insight into your own motivations. especially with new business links you are only considered a suitable contact if you appear to be on a similar or higher business level. increase knowledge? What do I want to learn in this environment? – Explore contemporary leadership skills. Hint: If you are unsure – Do not be afraid to ask. you will be evaluated through visual and behavioural appearance. In those three seconds. mannerisms. PRESENTING YOURSELF Creating the right impression To create a positive impression your first contact with clients and colleagues should set the scene for future interaction. .
If you want to stand out from the crowd do it in a stylish way and not with inappropriate clothing. Accessories/jewellery – this is a way to say something about yourself. No rings etc may be required if you are unsure check with the organisation. Hint: Melding it with your own style and culture is very important though as you need to feel comfortable. Closed in shoes. black grey and navy blue is all acceptable. . wear something small and unobtrusive. This sounds easy to do. Therefore. Avoid clothing that is too tight or too loose. Your outer-appearance reinforces whatever image you are trying to convey. Neat and presentable. but with the multitude of workplaces all with their own code of dress standards can differ dramatically. Tight clothing is uncomfortable and there nothing worse than seeing someone trying to sit down in something that looks like it might rip at any moment. This is one of the worst mistakes anyone can make. Do however be clear in what you are trying to convey with your clothing and wear items that are neat. • Clothes and shoes should be fitting. Details – check for loose threads. the first part of making a good impression is to wear professional clothing. but don’t overdo it. Our recommendation to you is to look at others who are working in the environment and try to wear something close to what they are wearing. Generally speaking the following items are deemed suitable by most office managers. Loose clothing tends to scream low self-esteem so try to dress as though you care. • • • Solid colours are safe. For conservative industries. don’t be afraid to use a bit of colour. wrinkles and so forth. Hint: Be aware of Health & Safety Issues i.Dress standards and personal presentation A large part of first impression is determined by visual cues. conservative and fit into the environment you find yourself in.e. Grooming is also a major factor in creating a positive visual appearance. In most offices you will be required to wear professional attire.
• Dress/skirts should not be shorter than knee length as this is distracting for all around you. stick with dark navy. avoid extreme colours. Business Casual Business casual is a term that causes much confusion amongst people. that is. business casual should appear crisp and neat. hair should be neat and tidy. The following tips are gender specific: Women • Grooming. Please be patient with them and allow them to get to know the real you. if you have a beard make sure it is well taken care of at all times. • If your culture denotes you should wear head dress or other culturally specific clothing then wear it unless it is against company policy. • Blouse/top. if you choose to wear makeup don’t overdo it. what is too business and what is too casual. • Colour. avoid the plunging neckline. Hair in the eyes tends to distract others from your conversation. and what is actually in between the two? Generally speaking. . The term itself is ambiguous. Just be aware that some people might find this uncomfortable because they do not have your beliefs and value systems. neat and clean hair. • Clean and trimmed fingernails. • Shoes. conservative. • Make-up. dark grey. polished dress shoes.• Personal hygiene – be aware of body odours and use appropriate products to address this if need be. it should allow you to make a good impression with someone of a high position in the company without needing to change or feel embarrassed. or black. shave. Men • Grooming.
The problem is that in most Western countries handshakes are different to those elsewhere in the world. Similarly. Good Handshakes The following is a loose guideline for a good handshake. MEET AND GREET Handshakes Like any form of greeting. It is important to remember that you need to be comfortable with the handshake. For that reason we are only going to talk about handshakes from the point of view of the Western World. What you wear makes a major difference in people’s perception of you. or a complete lack of handshake can leave the impression that the person is rude. like all non-verbal communication. your handshake can also leave an impression in an individual’s minds. It is extremely important to dress the part so that you will be viewed as a professional. you want to make sure you leave a good impression. Perceptions Remember. and possibly arrogant. Like the way you dress and speak. communicating to them many a multitude of non-verbal signs. • Make and maintain eye contact with the other person. handshakes leave an impression of you with other people. not team player. and a sense of equality. if the meeting you will be attending is of a nature that makes business attire an inappropriate choice then it is best to ask people of the industry what type of outfit is suitable. and smile at them. . A good handshake leaves the impression of confidence.It is all in context. A bad one. a willingness to learn and discuss. at the end of the day you are dressing to project a professional image.
stand immediately to engage the person. So what can we do to create a more positive attitude? 1. If we choose to see things negatively our life will be full woes and sorrows. This is particularly applicable in the workplace. try to keep your focus on the person. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT Attitude Success often rides on the shoulders of the brave. how well you know the person. others prefer them much shorter. If you are seated at your desk when you are introduced to someone. Why? Well we believe those people with a great attitude see opportunities and situations differently to those who don’t. Those around us will react to how we see ourselves. We interpret and react differently to situations according to that reality.• • • Use a firm grip firm but not overpowering. If we choose to see things in the right light we have a positive experience and are optimistic. Adjust duration. Most of us aren’t like this. Realise that YOU have control The great thing about your attitude is just that – IT’S YOURS! You cannot control what others say or do but you can control how it affects you. . Observe the other person and adjust the duration to the situation. Some people prefer a long handshake. and what seems comfortable to them. To summarise. There are courageous individuals who dare to take the attitude that something is achievable and then just do it. Our reality is shaped by our attitude to everything around us. allowing you to be in a good position to conduct the handshake. If we constantly say and do negative things then everyone around us will act negatively towards us. We do our utmost to avoid the pain of change rather than put ourselves through the realms of the unknown in the pursuit of our dreams. Always adjust the strength of your handshake to equal the firmness of the other person’s grip.
an important step to developing resilience is to develop the habit of positive self talk. with perseverance. Gaining confidence Entering into a new experience such as a new workplace – a new environment with new colleagues to meet can be very daunting and cause a dip in our confidence levels.2. Be gentle on yourself and expect to feel a little nervous. blame. give yourself time to take in your new surroundings. Be thankful Each day is a new day and a chance to put things in perspective. rather than with fear. We can be totally confident in one area of work though and totally self-doubting in another. Self-confidence is imperative to your success. As you become more aware of your surroundings your confidence will lift and you will then have the opportunity to share/develop your own skills and attributes. Get to know how people fit into the organisation. recover from them. react accordingly with positive action. Be thankful for the opportunities you do have and make the most of them instead of concentrating your efforts on what you do not have. A lack of confidence can make us pass on an interesting assignment and procrastinate on projects that need completion. Be Resilient Resilient people are those that face life’s obstacles but ultimately. Try and be strong and face life’s setbacks as challenges. 4. Remember positivity is a state of mind and you are the only one who can control it. Being optimistic means judge each situation as an opportunity to maximise your strengths and achievements and to minimise your fears or weaknesses. Be Optimistic This is the “Golden Key” to keeping a positive attitude. Take things a step at a time. Life can be very challenging. understand the layout. remind yourself that you are strong and that you can grow stronger and wiser as you handle life’s challenges. . Always believe in yourself. 3. inferiority or self-pity. introduce yourself to everyone you meet.
. Workplace culture has a major bearing on how people act.. Don’t let pride or apprehension get in the way. Workplaces expect their employees . Many times people procrastinate simply because they don’t know what to do. Be well prepared whether you need to deliver a big presentation or an office memo. Respect and honesty for those around you is viewed as good. Helping others will build good positive working relationships. Let’s start by outlining those things generally held as universally true. The way we recommend you tackle a new situation or task is by breaking it up into tiny bites. Lack of confidence can make things seem more difficult.5 hours per day. You will find all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds coming together for 7. What is ethical to one person is not necessarily ethical to another. The average workplace is very diverse. A culturally diverse workplace is generally viewed as a good thing but you have to ask the question: how do such workplaces handle ethical diversity? Well one could answer that policies and procedures are just the tip of the iceberg. Ask someone to help you. Western countries have a certain view of workplace ethics that is enforced through policies and procedures. You must also ask for help.There are many ways to feel more confident and comfortable within a new organisation. Complete the task one bite at a time. Honesty and positive morals and ethics Ethics and morals are extremely complex and subjective topics. Preparation is the key to creating confidence and less stress. Of course this leads to variations that may sometimes create difficult situations. We would like to say that commonsense should prevail however what is commonsense? Diversity can create a great number of questions that need answering. Workplaces are breeding grounds for ethical diversity and expecting everyone to know and understand each other’s viewpoints is probably unrealistic. However. Looking at a large task can make it seem impossible. Breaking it up and doing it bit by bit makes it so much more achievable.
As well as being bad-mannered and arrogant it really exposes a lack of respect for each person’s role in the company. honesty and tolerance are highly regarded and will be reciprocated. This ensures that you are always working to your potential. Express your goals in a positive manner. It takes every position to make a company work. Most successful people use goal setting techniques for both long and short-term personal and professional development. Ability to set goals and priorities in work Goal setting is a motivational tool that turns thinking about your ideas into the reality.as much as possible to abide by common principles of human decency. The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective workplace goals: 1. This might feel unfair but we can guarantee that if you complete those work assignments with enthusiasm and professionalism you will be given more responsibility before you know it. As well as helping you choose where you want to go in life it helps you to focus your efforts so you are not distracted from the course you have set. Respect for each other. A common mistake among some new professionals is treating secretaries and administration staff without due respect. A positive attitude towards learning and growth Whether you believe it should be or not in almost every company you will have to prove your competence over a period of time before being given total responsibility and that includes placements. 2. Write all your goals down. . Be aware of what is achievable and what is not. Our research shows that people that write their goals are 100 times more likely to achieve them. truth. It is important to set realistic goals for your placement and challenge yourself by doing something stretches your capacity. Unrealistic goals though set you up for failure.
Touching someone without them inviting you to do so. Please be very careful to act in an appropriate manner at all times.3. Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended. humiliated or uncomfortable. Make sure your operational goals are small but working towards more long term strategic goals. If you base all your goals on personal performance then you can be assured you did your best even if the outcome was not what you wanted. emails or phone calls are examples you should avoid. Be very careful not to speak even jokingly about such things. It is also the key goal of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984. 5. which aims to eliminate discrimination and sexual harassment and promote greater equality in all aspects of the Australian community. Set goals according to your performance and not the outcome. Set precise goals with dates and time it will take so you can measure your achievements more effectively. Sensitivity and Thoughtfulness Sometimes people inadvertently offend others. For example a young girl we know was offended when a male colleague was telling others a joke about a woman with blonde hair. saying something that could be misinterpreted as being sexual in nature and inappropriate letters. . GENDER AND OTHER SENSITIVE ISSUES Sexual Discrimination Equality between men and women is a principle that lies at the heart of a fair and productive Australian society. Sometimes there are things you just can’t control whether it is a bad business environment or poor judgement by Management. 4. In Australia it is very important that you do not do anything that could be misinterpreted in this way.
If you need to go online for personal reasons please do so outside the office. grammar and punctuation • Don’t use abbreviations and emoticons • Contain disclaimers for business-related email • Proof read your email before sending • Do not overuse the high-priority/urgent function • Speedy reply .Appropriate behaviour also includes being thoughtful of others trials and tribulations. Just try and be very tolerant. We use it for business. social networking or sites that are not used as research for your placement positions. COMMUNICATION Writing a great email Email is a form of communication that has become an everyday tool for many people. Be tactful and sensitive to their needs. It isn’t appropriate ever to joke or comment on others appearance or disabilities. • Relevant subject heading • Be concise and to the point • Contain proper spelling. . and personal communication. Your emails should have. show of respect and a set of strong ethics will ensure no misunderstandings or miscommunication. usually within 24 hours • Do not send spam and/or chain letters Using the internet In most workplaces it is not suitable for you to access personal email. social. It is important to follow the same principles as everyday etiquette – good courtesy. Everyone has good and bad days.
Personal space Often if a person becomes too close to another being without this being desired. It is important that when you are at work that you stand or sit in the work environment that you do it with a comfortable proximity to your co-workers. Personal to social is considered the correct distance for the workplace.Telephone and mobile communication In today’s business world phone communication is the first point of contact between most professionals. The following graph shows the correct distances for different situations. It is a chance for everyone involved to make a good impression. Be aware that some people have allergic reactions to certain chemicals in perfume. wear something that is not overpowering. . it makes them feel uncomfortable. Studies have shown that It takes only 60 seconds for people to create an opinion on an individual’s background. Use the common area if you’ll be eating hot or particularly smelly foods and even then if you must have foods that contain particularly pungent spices make sure you go outside to eat. education and personality based on voice alone. Sometimes when the kitchen is close to work areas the smell seems to expand and linger in the office areas for a long time. COMMONSENSE RULES Food Keep your own desk and area clean and free of trash and food. It’s all a matter of taste (and smell). and not everyone has the same taste as you! Perfume Perfume. The same goes for aftershave as this has the same ingredients.
Individuals need to learn a whole new set of coping methods in order to work productively within an open plan office. where many work stations are held within one large space. While studies have shown open plan offices has many advantages. and allows you to find needed items at a more quickly. your desk and belongings are in the open where everyone can see them. In your own personal space keep your work desk clean. A clean desk is essential for overall presentation. As there are no dividers in an open plan office. . it also has many challenges that can decrease morale and productivity.OPEN PLAN OFFICE Sharing Space More and more companies are utilising open plan offices. Furthermore it ensures that you do no leave classified information on your desk. It presents a more professional image and leaves a favourable impression.
Preparation – Look at your assignments log when they are due and schedule time weeks ahead to ensure you meet the required dates HINT Schedule the due date a week in advance you will be amazed at how this takes the pressure off. b) A weekly timetable (you need to structure you time in the short term allowing flexibility Saturday or Sunday mornings can be a good time to allow you free time for family. HINT: Use blocks of time to study or complete work task – more beneficial that switching from one activity to another. c) Daily diary – “things to do” lists – this will keep you on track.TIME MANAGEMENT Juggling work. study. Here’s how! Use Planners – you may need 3 a) Trimester planner (this will enable you to map out tasks required for your studies/project work. friends and other activities). social activities can all be a balancing act however individuals who combine these seem to enjoy the best of everything. religious observation. The essential key is to have good time management. however it isn’t easy it’s probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Set goals and reward yourself when you attain them – this is a great self-motivating habit Communicate – if you are having difficulties with schedules/deadlines it is important to discuss this early with your supervisors/lecturers/case coordinators to make them aware. You have many resources available to you – do not leave things to the last minute – even asking for help! .
please go ahead and take the assessment. even if I may not have it at the beginning” . If you experience any problems or need to ask any questions. “If I have the belief that I can do it. The multiple choice questions will test you on the knowledge you have learned in this Cross Cultural Communication course. Any Problems? The Placement Program is a very special privilege of your Leadership Development Program. You must pass this assessment prior to being placed in a placement. I will surely acquire the capacity to do it. please ring the Australian Experiential Learning Centre on 08 9250 6544 and our Case Coordinators can assist you.CONCLUSION The Assessment When you feel that you are ready.Mahatma Gandhi . Please make sure you make the most of this opportunity.
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