I do not know if we begin with or grow into unprofessionalism and having unacceptable communication skills in business, but we are creating a workplace of ignorant, inept people. As an entrepreneur, I do my best to stay in the know about my expertise and new business practices to stay current as a Health and Wellness expert.
Lately, I have found myself in meetings with unprofessional business colleagues who are acting as entertainers, trying to convince me how smart and important they are. I feel as if I am at the circus waiting for the next clown act.
Please do not confuse promoting yourself with promoting your business. People want to know about your services, products and that you are honest and have integrity, not your personal “up and coming greatness.” Learn to navigate the legibility of your business so you are truly a thriving force to be taken seriously. Clients do not need to know that you met with the President of the United States last night, so that is why you are two hours late to your meeting. You are late and unprofessional for not conveying to your client that you need to change the meeting date and time days before the meeting, unless there was an emergency beyond your control.
Complete your homework. Put forth the effort to research what you do not know, take business courses and know which lane you need to drive in daily. There is nothing worse than an outdated professional using vernacular from the 1970’s and trying to pull you into their surrounding ignorance.
Some reasons many people do not grow and get left behind is lack of professionalism, insight, and pride in their work. Instead of bloviating about self-accomplishments and one’s greatness, remain current and organized. You are not trying to manage a circus with acts to come; you are managing an enterprise that needs viable business models and practices to stay relevant and vital to your customers and clients.
As a professional, it’s important to learn:
1. The ability to know one’s strengths and weaknesses.
2. A commitment to systematically address performance and personality shortcomings that may be standing in the way of success.
3. The willingness to hear honest critique without defensiveness.
4. The ability to control one’s tongue.
5. The ability to act —even when outcomes from your actions might be risky.
6. The ability to defend oneself without rancor or hostility.
7. The ability to admit and accept one’s failure, learn from it and move forward with a commitment to stay constant in learning and personal growth.
The Do’s and Don’ts of the Professional Business Owner:
Do review all written material before it goes public. Use the computer grammar check, spell check and a dictionary if you are not sure. There are several websites to help you with correct grammar usage.
Don’t allow grammatically incorrect and misspelled words to appear in or on your intellectual property. Sure, it happens, but we should ensure as much as possible that our public works are perfect. If we do not, we are telling the world, “I am too lazy to care what I put out there for others to read”.
Don’t change other people’s work based on your assumptions. If it is not your area of expertise, leave it alone and go to the expert. Do not run the risk of making a fool of yourself and insult someone who has taken the time to learn their expertise, which does not equal more business for you.
Do believe in yourself enough to want the best for your business. Be a visionary. It is a brave new world full of opportunities that can yield great returns and challenges that keep us on our toes to become better, and expect “par excellence!”
Here are some great books to read:
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of Learning by Peter M. Senge
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
Competing for the Future: A Book on Contemporary Strategies by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins and Jerry Iporras
What are a few of your top do’s and don’ts of being a professional? Share your tips and experiences with us below.