Ah yes, the word professionalism regularly rears its head in today’s business environment. Is professionalism alive and well in your organization?
We have all encountered co-workers who just don’t seem to get it…those who haven’t figured out what it takes to behave professionally in the workplace. You know who they are. Chances are they don’t return phone calls, come late to meetings, interrupt conversations, ignore emails, lack follow through and often blame others when things go wrong. They have become so focused on their own needs they’ve lost sight of why they’re there…to contribute to the health and success of the organization.
I invite you to take a “mental walk” through your organization, thinking about those people who exhibit the highest degree of professionalism. What are the common traits they possess? They are generally the people who enjoy the respect and admiration of co-workers and managers, appear confident and assured, deliver quality work, have a positive, “can-do” attitude and are trusted team members.
What about those people who still have some work to do to gain the level of professionalism they want? It’s important to remember that every time we walk into a room, speak to someone, or take action we send messages that shape our professional image. The messages that we send are a matter of choice. If we want to enhance our professional image, we need to begin by focusing on our respect for the organization we’re a part of, the customers we serve and the people we work with. By turning our focus and energy outward versus inward, we will make significant strides in enhancing our professional image.
Here are ten ways to boost your professionalism:
- Commitment – Take ownership for personal and organizational success
- Honesty – Exercise honesty and ethics in all situations
- Communication – Actively listen and communicate openly
- Trust – Build trust and strong working relationships
- Respect – Treat people the way you want to be treated
- Responsiveness – Anticipate needs and follow through on commitments
- Innovation – Look for ways to improve how things are done
- Teamwork – Collaborate to get the work done
- Image – Dress and behave like people in similar professions
- Performance – Be the best you can be
If your co-workers took a “mental walk” through the organization, would they place your name on the list of people who exude professionalism? If not, maybe it’s time to take a personal inventory and invest time polishing up your own professionalism!