By Alvin Mason

Professionalism should be incorporated in a manager’s behavior. Professionalism starts with the understanding of the importance of taking ones job and responsibility seriously at all times. Remember you have a position based on your qualifications and in most cases what you promised to bring to the table.

First as a professional you should present yourself in a professional manner which includes your appearance and hygiene. Always adhere to organizational policy and follow dress standards. The always ready professional will have dress clothes (coat, shirt, and tie for men) and (dress or suit for women) in the office for unexpected encounters with the public.

Being a professional also means separating your personal life from your work life. So unless there is love at first sight you must limit the fraternization. Good professional behavior would entail no gossiping.

You should always demonstrate professionalism. Being a professional requires the requisite attention to detail. Professionalism also incorporates being prepared. Sometimes being prepared includes making sure you get enough rest.

Being prepared might entail researching and making preparations on your time. When you are giving a presentation try to predict what questions will be asked. If you are not a gifted speaker than practice. The one thing you should never do is what I call winging it. When one attempts to make a presentation without preparation every competent person in the meeting can tell that the presenter is winging it.

Professionalism also includes being focused and concentrating when necessary. Too many times people work as they drive in what I refer to as autopilot. The person is there but only half there. Focus on the person talking to you. Professionalism means listening to the person talking to you and reading your emails and other correspondence. Reading does not mean briefly scanning a document. Learn to concentrate through distractions.

Professionalism includes taking care of details and paying attention. Let me give you 3 examples of not paying attention to details:

  1. The 2016 Miss Universe when the MC announced the runner-up as the winner.
  2. The 2017 Academy Awards where the wrong movie was announced as best picture.
  3. The 2017 NCAA Basketball tournament where in a second round game between Northwestern and Gonzaga an obvious basket interference was missed and the coach was assessed a technical foul.

Focus and attention to detail and maybe proper preparation should have avoided those embarrassments. Focus and attention to detail can help you avoid bad situations.

Professionalism also means knowing your limits. Try not to undertake more than you can handle competently. When necessary delegate some responsibility to a competent person who you know will take care of business.

Above all display professionalism at all times.

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