How professional are you at work? Do you allow your emotions to rule your behaviour or are you able to detach and focus on achieving the best possible outcomes even when it’s clear everyone is out to get you?
It can be tricky to act professionally at all times. After all, we’re at work for a significant period of the day and we’ve been programmed with emotions.
But too frequently I see capable women become ineffective, distracted and lose perspective, because they’re too emotionally invested in their work, colleagues or environment.
It’s useful to remember that at work we have a contractual obligation to use our skills, expertise and experience to achieve the best possible outcome for our employer. When we disengage in some way to avoid criticism, conflict or speaking up, usually because of personal discomfort, fear or self-doubt, we’re in breach of our employment contract. In addition, we’re letting ourselves, our colleagues and our employer down by failing to contribute and add the value we’re capable of adding.
The more senior your role or the more you’re paid, the higher the expectations are that you will act professionally. This may at times require discipline, stern self talk and a reminder to detach.
A useful question when we become confused is: ‘what is my professional responsibility right now?’ It might be to:
- focus on the issue not the person
- provide feedback to a colleague
- provide an alternate perspective to enhance decision making
- make a positive contribution to your team
- say no to your boss to protect your team.
The more consistent and professional your behaviour, the easier it will be for others to work with you, the more you’ll contribute and the more respect you’ll generate.