The P’s & Q’s of Professionalism
8 Tips for Enhancing Civility at Work
Has the level of professionalism diminished where you work? If so, you’re not alone. Corporate civility has been on the decline, and now is the time to take action and turn things around. Each of us can be conduits for change, but only if we choose to adopt some new behaviors. Here are 8 ways for you to mind your professional P’s & Q’s:
Are you a pleasure to work with, or do your moods change like the wind? No one, including family, friends or colleagues, should have to put up with your negative outlook, angry outbursts, pouting, or prejudices. People prefer spending time with other people who are pleasant, so if your attitude sucks, change it. One way to do that is to look in the mirror throughout the day and ask yourself, “Would I want to be working with me right now?” If the answer is no, do something about it. NOW.
When we have passion for our work we naturally elevate our level of professionalism, because when we love what we do we bring enthusiasm and effort to work with us. If you’ve ever been stuck doing a job that you detest you know exactly what it feels like to lack passion. Focus on what you enjoy about your work and continually look for ways to bring more passion to your everyday responsibilities. And, if you hate your job, get a new one. Seriously.
No one enjoys waiting for someone who is late. Being on time shows professionalism and respect. If you’re always late, stop it! Starting today, take responsibility for your schedule and do whatever it takes to enable you to show up, return phone calls, and reply to e-mails on time.
Commitments are like promises…do you keep yours? As professionals it is imperative to honor the commitments that we make, which means taking them seriously. Doing so will ensure that you gain a reputation for being reliable. For example, if you are asked to RSVP to an event and say you’ll be there, you have a professional obligation to show up. The host will be expecting you and they may have plans that include introducing you to others. If you can’t go, say no!
Pride is one of the key components that successful professionals share. Let your professionalism shine through your behavior, your appearance, and your words. Be proud of your individuality and be bold enough to stand up for the rights of yourself and others. Lead by example, share credit, and compliment others freely. Never compromise your integrity by doing or saying something you’re not proud of.
Others sense our level of confidence the instant that they see us. Present yourself with dignity by walking tall, smiling sincerely, making eye contact, and extending your hand in welcome. Take the initiative to confidently approach people you haven’t met. Make introductions willingly and engage people in conversation. You will set yourself apart by remembering names, doing your research in preparation for events, expressing gratitude, and sending heartfelt thank you notes. If you’re doing all the talking, take a breath and LISTEN to what others are saying.
Show others that you mean business by consistently producing quality work. It takes effort to make sure that everything that represents you—from an email to appearing at a public event—has your personal stamp of quality on it. Quality and confidence go hand in hand, so invest the time and effort that it takes to always put your best professional foot forward.
Some people say, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” I say, “When in doubt, ask.” Good advice is like gold. If you are ever unsure of what to do, where to be, who to meet, or what to say, confidently ask for direction and guidance. True professionals are people who willingly help others. Be one of those people.
Eight simple actions, one simple choice. Are you ready to bring professionalism to work with you?