Do’s and don’ts of communication at work

We are the students of course KKENVAL4 from University of Tampere. One of our assignments in this course was to do a group task involving different aspects of communication at work.

During the process we gathered around a big circle in every class and had a dialogue with each other and talked about how every group is doing.

We decided to create different social situations from everyday work life. There were 25 of us so we divided into 5 little groups (5×5). Every group had their own social situation to demonstrate. We had to include do’s and don’ts of communication in these situations to the demonstration. Each group decided to demonstrate their subject either as a video or a live performance in the class room. The videos or the script of the performances are shown below.
Groups and those subjects were:

Group 1: Job interview from the employee’s perspective
Group 2: The first day of a new employee
Group 3: Meeting between the manager and the
Group 4: Introduction between employees from different cultures
Group 5: Job interview from the employers’ perspective


We found some similarities in every of these five situations. Good manners are the starting point at every situation and bad habits are pretty much the same such as using your phone while having a dialogue. Although in different cultures some things can be either good or bad depending on the cultures and the situation.


Every group worked well and we had our group task done on time. Our five group values we decided were responsibility, security, respect, cooperation and humour. Especially the value humour was a big part of our group as a whole and we all had fun doing the task and watching the performances of the other groups. We were able to discuss different things in the big circle and learned through that.

GROUP 1: Job interview from the employee’s perspective

Our video as a link. The page is in

GROUP 5: Job interview from the employers’ perspective


– Arrives late
– Mistakes the applicant for someone else (calls them the wrong name etc.)
– Inappropriate questions eg. about sexual orientation and about the prospect of having kids
– No eye contact, no handshake
– Looking at the phone all the time
– Too intense, too much eye contact, coming too close
– Looking at boobs and body
– Is uninterested in the applicant
– Doesn’t explain the job properly
– Doesn’t tell anything about the company / gives weird and vague answers about the job and the company
– Undermines the applicant’s working experience


– Arrives on time
– Knows what the applicant’s name is
– Treats the applicant with respect
– Good introduction: Eye contact, handshake
– Good questions about the applicant’s interests and experience (more open questions)
– Shows interest about the applicant
– Tells about the job
– Tells about the company
– Is enthusiastic about the company and about his own work
– Asks the applicant what he/she expects from the job
– Asks the applicant about him/his motivation (why exactly he/she)

Group 5’s whole script (PDF)

GROUP 2: The first day of a new employee


This is a story of an office, employees and how to manage your first day at work. Imagine an office. This is it. Imagine a boss. There is one sitting behind me, the boss of this office. And here comes our protagonist. (Miss do comes to the scene)


Hello, Miss Do.


Hello, Boss.


Notice the firm handshake. Important.

(Miss do and the boss have silent smalltalk)


But wait. We have another protagonist on our way. Miss Don’t is late from her first day.

(Miss don’t arrives to the stage)


Where’s the boss of this office?


I am the boss. Your miss don’t?


Oh…. (awkward hello) (no handshake, possibly srambling together bag)


And now to the exciting part: The boss is offering a tour around the office. Miss Don’t makes a funny joke on that she wants to know where the restaurant is. Miss Do accepts the invitation with a smile. At this moment, you should pay attention. This is a phone. Before using it, you should be aware when and how it is appropriate to use your phone on your workplace.

(Miss don’t checks phone on the background)


That’s about it. Do you have any questions before I leave to meet your co-workers?


Well I was thinking, is there any outlines or thumb rules on what we should wear —



I have a festival next that I have bought tickets to, I need those days of.


It is not a coincident that her name is Miss Don’t.

The boss has to leave and our heroes are on their own. Here comes The co-worker.


Isn’t she a pain in the ass?


Have you ever heard of assumptions and how they affect the way we see other people. There are atleast two lessons to be learned of co-workers words. Dont be a dick. And don’t pollute other peoples opinions, specially not on their first day. Let give the co-worker another change.


Hi nice to meet you. My name is miss co-worker. If you have anything on your mind feel free to ask me.


I brought something little for everyone here.


Me to.


Oh. What we have here? What did they bring? Shoud they have brought anything on their first day? That, my dier audience, I do not know. Shall that be a mystery.

GROUP 4: Introduction between employees from different cultures

Finnish culture (Narrator: Mirjami)

Do: handshake

Don’t: hugging and kissing

Narrator: Ayumi is going to a business trip to Finland. Now she meets Helena for the first time, lets see how it goes.

Ayumi: *hugs and kisses Helena*

Helena: *feels super awkward and walks away*

Narrator: Well that went terribly wrong. In Finland people appreciate personal space at least when you are meeting a new person, so you should not hug or kiss them. Ayumi has learnt from her mistake and is now meeting another person.

Ayumi: *shakes hands* “Hi my name is Ayumi”

Aatu: *shakes hands* ” Hi my name is… Nice to meet you.”

Japanese culture (Narrator: Helena) 

Do: bow and handshake, businesscard

Don’t: using first name instead of surname

Narrator: Mirjami is in Tokyo closing some super important deals. She now meets with CEO of the company.

Mirjami: Hello Ayumi, should we sign this contract papers already

Ayumi: *doesn’t respond, feels insulted*

Narrator: What a shame. Mirjami just ruined everything. In Japan even if the persons already know each other, they use their surnames in a business enviroment. Also show respect by addressing them with mister/misses. Maybe Miss Miyozaki is understanding and can give Mirjami a second chance?

Mirjami: *bows and shakes hands* “Hello Miss Miyozaki” *gives the businesscard with two hands* “My name is Mirjami Nummi”

Iraq culture (Narrator: Ayumi)

Do: man to man handshake and kissing

Don’t: man and woman handshake and kissing

Narrator: Aatu is visiting his companys office in Iraq. He is meeting with some stuff members.

Aatu: *approaching Mirjami to shake hands*

Mirjami: *refusing to do that* Hi my name Mirjami

Aatu: oh, hello my name is Aatu

Narrator: In islamic culture non-relative man and woman don’t make physical contact unless the woman approaches first. Non-relative men can make contact. Now Aatu is meeting with Thamer, lets see how that goes.

Aatu: *shakes hands,* Hello my name is Aatu

Thamer: *shakes hands, kisses on the cheeks* Hi my name is Thamer, nice to meet you.


GROUP 3: Meeting between the manager and the

Video 1: Boss – Worker pos.

Video 2: Boss – Worker neg.

Video 3: Worker – Boss pos.

Video 4: Worker – Boss neg.


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