These 5 Behaviors Risk Workplace Harassment Issues

A business-behavior expert says there are five office behaviors that should be avoided to maintain a workplace that is free from sexual harassment.

Dr. ArLyne Diamond, founder of Diamond Associates, identifies the no-nos:

No compliments on physical appearance. In today's workplace, you shouldn't tell a person they look handsome, pretty, professional, polished, etc. Compliments about a person's physical appearance even if they are innocent in nature should be a avoided at all costs.

Men and women should not touch each other at all. Anything beyond a handshake is opening Pandora's box. Men and women should avoid pats on the shoulder, hugs, and any touching of the arms or legs.

Avoid all forms of teasing. All forms of practical jokes on fellow employees. Everyone has a different reaction to humor and what is funny to one person can be incredibly offensive to others.

Keep your language in check. If wouldn't say it in front of your mother, you shouldn't say it in the office. Excessive cursing or crude language can be perceived as harassment and should be avoided at all costs.

No flirting. Whimsical office romances may still exist but, in today's workplace they can potentially get you reprimanded or even fired. Flirting or asking a co-worker out for drinks should be avoided at all costs.

Diamond is an internationally recognized leadership, management, professional development, and organizational development consultant specializing in people and processes in the workplace.

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