An association I belong to recently held a “Raising the Bar” event on the subject of professionalism. As I was reflecting on the speaker, the audience, and our discussions, I got to thinking that the qualities we need to embrace in the work place to make us better colleagues are exactly what we need to be better parents, better friends, better husbands and wives, better children, and better all round.
HOW YOU DO ONE THING IS HOW YOU DO EVERYTHING
You may think you already do all these things, and I’m sure that you do! But there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Look inside yourself and ask how you can really improve in these areas, in all aspects of your life. If you look at these attributes and think there’s really nothing you can do to improve in any way, YOU need some serious time for self-reflection.
In an effort to be better colleagues and improve all our relationships, here are some things we can strive for, collectively:
Respect is a regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of other people. You don’t have to agree with someone; you don’t have to want the same outcome as someone else. What you should have is the ability to understand not everyone thinks like you, not everyone has the same values or priorities as you and that is what makes us INDIVIDUAL. Take the you out of the equation because it’s not all about you.
Let’s be decent, sincere, fair and trustworthy. Let’s treat people the way we want to be treated. Let’s stand by our words. I want the people in my life to know that if I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. Of course, there are instances when we can’t do what we say but let’s try our hardest and let us always be guided by the best of intentions.
In essence, we are all working toward the same goal. If you were to survey a bunch of people and ask them what they really want, I guarantee you that the majority of them will respond with a resounding desire for happiness. I realize that happiness is different for everyone, but the goal is happiness. The best way to achieve happiness is with harmony. And the best way to achieve harmony is through cooperation. We need to look at other people as members of our own team because, that’s what we truly are. We all just want to survive and be happy so let’s be happy together. Let’s try and help each other. Let’s collaborate more!
Whatever industry you’re in, know it. Whatever hobbies you’re into, know them. Whatever endeavors or pursuits are a priority for you, know them better than anyone else. When you are knowledgeable about the things you bring to the table, you’re more likely to offer more to the people you serve. Stay informed, stay educated, stay enlightened. Being knowledgeable makes you a resource! If you want to be the best you, you can be, stay on top of that shit. And if you have no interest in gaining knowledge or learning more about the things you do, you’re probably not very passionate about them so go do something you really love so you can be happier. You’ll be more of a resource for other people and having a sense of fulfillment, will improve all your relationships.
Being able to understand or share the feelings another person may be experiencing, is the single most important quality you can possess to make you a better colleague, better business person, better significant other, better parent etc. When you are empathetic you are not working under the influence of your ego. You’re not making a situation about you and your frame of reference. Empathy helps you truly connect with other people. We are all connected already you just have to see and feel that connection. Think of a time when you needed someone to empathize with you. Think of a time when you’ve thought to yourself ‘walk a mile in my shoes’. Maybe you can ‘walk a mile’ in someone’s shoes when they need some understanding.
THE BEST WAY WE CAN BRING ABOUT ANY CHANGE IS TO START WITHIN OURSELVES.
Here’s a list of qualities that came from a room full of 150 people, divided into groups when asked what makes a professional colleague. Ask yourself if possessing any of these qualities can make us all better people:
The fact that presentations about professionalism are needed is enough to indicate that we need we need to change ourselves, we need to improve relationships; we need to raise the bar and we need to lead by example.
Be the exception.