10 bad habits that prevent you from looking professional
These rules are simple and understandable as twice two. Moreover, they increase your authority. Why are so many people ignoring them?
Imagine such a picture. Last winter, I happened to attend an event to strengthen business ties. It was cold outside, but the room was warm. Most of us were “burdened” with winter coats and heavy bags. I was talking in the company of several people when our social talk was interrupted by a gracious offer of a guy who came up to us:
“Damn, you guys are carrying a ton of shit,” he said. “You know what ... you can deposit all your crap into the locker room for free.”
Boom! Seriously tarnished reputation. I understand that he tried to help us, but none of us appreciated his good intentions after such a greeting.
And the point is not that he swore; these days, most of us have a very high "immunity to abuse." The fact is that three of the 23 words he said were curses (provided that you consider the word "devil" as such). This is a manifestation of laziness, unwillingness to bother choosing the best description for all that was in our hands. Instead, he used Spartan vocabulary from the barnyard, which made him frivolous and unprofessional in our eyes.
(Since I'm sure one of you will want to ask how he should name everything that was with us, here are a few options: coats, bags, laptops, things, purses, briefcases, jackets, duffles, cargo, luggage, dragging, luggage - yes call my bag a purse, if you want, it can at least be regarded as an attempt to joke).
The truth is that no one is perfect. We are all prone to semi-conscious chatter that does not play into our hands. That is why each of us sometimes needs to be reminded of what to do and what is not worth it. Below are 10 examples of how to avoid unprofessional behavior.
1. Lazy abuse
OK, this time really in the top of our list. Again, the matter is not in the most profanity, although it will rarely become your good assistant. The point is laziness. If someone uses the word “worthless” as a universal adjective, then inadvertently you begin to think about laziness and lack of imagination of these people in all their undertakings.
I admit that I myself have to fight this phenomenon. This is a tendency, I had to work hard to “pick up” this infection in my life. The phrase “Murphy’s Standard Time” (Paul Murphy, author of the article - translator's note) will not be met with perplexed looks from some of my friends and relatives. Nevertheless, I discovered for myself that punctuality is a manifestation of respect. If you have agreed to meet, then come on time, and with this you show that you are professional enough to follow your word.
3. "The eyes are not in place"
We are all humans. And nothing earthly is alien to us. We notice attractive people of that gender, to which we are biologically predisposed to have an interest. And yet, as civilized people, we must have enough self-control to, figuratively speaking, keep “wandering” views under control. Otherwise, my friend, you will look terribly unprofessional.
4. Optimism over the edge
Surely many of you are familiar with Elinor Porter's Pollyanna novel . So, it always seemed to me that the glorified blooming optimism of the main character implies the presence of an excess of unrealistic optimism. If you do not understand what is at stake, read its description. And if, after a complete failure, colleagues or partners assure you that everything is in order, then this is blatant lack of professionalism.
5. Wind in the head
If the wind is walking in the head, then the main symptoms of this ailment will be inconstancy and irresponsibility. Did you make an appointment with someone or promise to do something and didn't do it? Sorry, but you are irresponsible.
(Probably everyone who receives more than 1000 emails per day falls into this category). Most business people understand that customers expect a quick response. They want you to be immediately ready to offer a solution to their difficult situation. If you are not able to deal with your own state of affairs, then how can you deal with the issues of your clients?
It seems to be obvious, right? But, nevertheless, many people do not understand this. And this, as it were, makes them look somehow unprofessional, because they seem to be unable to get to the bottom of what they want to say, and somehow make it clear and all that.
I would also add bad grammar to this, but I also want to emphasize: we all know smart professionals of people whose speech simply let them down, betraying the holes in their school education. Or those for whom our language is not native. (No, well, honestly, this column would be funny if I wrote it in French or Spanish, which unfortunately I can’t boast of perfect grammar knowledge.)
Of course, we all have privacy, but in fact, most of the time our business does not intersect with it, and this is not about that. If you are hiding important information from employees or customers, you are not doing anything good for your reputation as a leader and, perhaps, make them doubt whether they can trust you.
9. Too many promises
Once a wonderful employee, a sales specialist, told me that her art of selling is “to promise the maximum within what you can realize.” Entrepreneurs often overestimate their capabilities. And so the main thing is to be sure that in the end your promises will not turn out to be empty words.
10. Scam and a lie
It is obvious. President George W. Bush once tried to say: “If you fool me once, it’s a shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me. ”