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Inappropriate Behavior

Inappropriate behavior is the least offensive of the disruptive behaviors and is often seen as the way a person “broadcasts” him or herself. People who display these types of behaviors are typically mindful of what constitutes “proper” conduct, but they choose to ignore the limits of acceptability when in the presence of others.

Specific Actions Associated with Inappropriate Behavior

Examples of behavior that indicate inappropriate conduct include:

  • Rude, loud, and off-colored remarks
  • Inappropriate or degrading jokes
  • Brushing or touching someone in inappropriate ways and passing it off as an accident
  • Posting personal effects (post-it notes, pictures, etc.) in their own work space that could be perceived as strange or threatening
  • Swearing in public
  • Shouting out loud but not targeted at someone
  • Exhibiting presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group
  • Publicly displaying “gross,” undignified (but not illegal) behavior

The list of specific actions associated with inappropriate behavior emerged from a study of case experiences triaged by the Risk Assessment Team, ongoing research on disruptive behaviors at work, and early intervention and prevention of workplace violence. Research indicates and our own experience suggests that responding to disruptive behaviors at work is early intervention and prevention of workplace violence.