No matter how long you have been in business, we're sure you have seen someone handle themselves in a less than professional manner. Whether it was a lack of etiquette during a business lunch or incessantly (and loudly) talking over a colleague, an associate's lack of professionalism can negatively influence any organization.
Behaving in a professional manner will allow others to focus on what you are saying and not on how you are saying it. And in doing so, experts all agree that this will bolster your confidence.
To ensure you and your team are adhering to proper professionalism, we have listed below four essential tips for anyone in business - from the most junior professional to even the most senior.
4 Tips For Maintaining Business Professionalism
Tip #1: Dress Professionally - Most companies have a dress code. Even if dress code is not covered during orientation, it is your responsibility to understand the requirements. In most office environments, corporate dress code prohibits shorts or excessively tight clothing. Many retail environments do not allow employees to wear open-toed shoes or high heels for safety.
Dress code also varies by industry and situation. While it may be appropriate for a construction supervisor to meet a client while wearing jeans, a flannel shirt and a hardhat, such attire would not be appropriate for most entry-level office workers.
To learn what is expected of you, observe the decision-makers at your company as they lead by example. As a general guideline, always remember that you represent your company and must do so in a professional way.
Tip #2: Reflect These Essential Professional Qualities - Standards of business professionalism vary by industry and company, but basic values are at the core of professionalism in every industry. Consider conducting yourself in a manner that reflects the following qualities: integrity, credibility, promptness, accountability and competence. Every company values these qualities.
Tip #3: Always Remember That You Are Being Judged - When you interact with others in and outside of your office, you're always being judged. It's like being on stage with someone always evaluating your performance. This means being prepared for challenges, pressure and stressful situations initiated by others; therefore, stay aware of your actions while you are at holiday parties (especially those involving alcohol), networking events, client and vendor meetings and internal meetings.
Tip #4: Three Areas Everyone Should Focus On When It Comes To Business Professionalism - To help you stay focused, we have listed below three areas that everyone, including you and your team, should always reflect on.
- Your Interpersonal Skills - How you interact with important contacts, coworkers, clients, vendors, supervisors and subordinates (in and out of the company) is critical.
- Your Attitude - It is always best to maintain a friendly, positive and forward-thinking attitude. Your body language also needs to radiate confidence and openness.
- Your Leadership Skills - Your leadership skills should be based on value, quality and integrity. Additionally, you want to help your team bring solutions to the table; not complaints. Take the initiative by being a leader.
Executive Summary: Being the consummate business professional is a combination of your attitude, competency, understanding of etiquette and your core values. Whether you are at an internal meeting or a business social event, maintaining business professionalism is the key to making others feel comfortable sharing ideas and/or doing business with you.
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