Regardless of the position you have in a company, it is really important to behave professionally.
By behaving the right way, not only are you improving the odds of getting a promotion but you’re also representing the organization in the right way.
You can say that professional behavior is a set of social rules that have to be abided while at work. Some people think that these rules only apply to your interpersonal relationships but this isn’t entirely true. It also refers to your knowledge or company’s vision, mission, and preferred behavior while with clients. For example, if you’re a mascot, your main goal is to stay in the role while promoting products and services.
Basically, professional behavior is behaving the way a company wants you to behave while also being respectful to your fellow co-workers. Interpretation of what professional behavior is can also vary based on the profession and industry you’re working in.
In order to help you out, we’ve created a list with 12 tips that will help you behave professionally. Read on!
Always consider your appearance
Let’s start from your physical appearance. First and foremost, you need to consider the company’s policy regarding the outfit and never stray from it. You also need to look clean all the time. Unfortunately, there are some people who have a different perception of what tidy is and may go for a kitschy outfit or inappropriate makeup. Best thing to do in these situations is to consult with your senior if you’re uncertain whether your appearance is appropriate for this job.
Learn more about the company’s values and goals
Almost every company has a set of values they abide by. Once you land a job, it is necessary to speak with your manager and learn what these goals and values are. You might also want to learn more about professional conduct imposed by the organization. This will affect everything you do from this point onward. Needless to say, you shouldn’t work for a company that has opposite beliefs to your own. However, if these values don’t go against your own, you should adapt to them.
Talk with the manager about previous mishaps
If you’re uncertain as to what to expect from a new company, its best to ask your superior about previous mishaps. This is especially important if a company has a specific set of rules or if they’re doing something different from most other organizations. The superior can give you a few examples of the previous blunders and how employees should’ve behaved in such situations. Sometimes, you might make a mistake without even realizing it and offend some of the higher-ups. Although this might sound a bit silly, it is much better to learn from other people’s mistakes than to make your own.
Respect is a word that is often tossed around in the business world. However, there is a good reason for it. We are all different individuals and there are some things that people simply won’t stand for. So, especially if you’re new, make sure to be polite, forthcoming, ask for feedback, listen to your seniors and try to behave the same way you would with any other authority figure in your life. Don’t try to get too friendly with co-workers from the get-go but instead, let the relationship build itself over time.
Focus on open communication
In most of the cases, issues occur due to lack of communication. One of the most important skills for an employee is to be a good listener. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking with the boss or some of the team members, you need to take note of what they’re saying. Paying attention to body language is also important as it can provide you with some extra information. But at the same time, you shouldn’t be too timid avoiding conflict at all costs. Sometimes, conflict is important to resolve an issue. Sweeping problems under the rug will only make them emerge later on, in a much more severe form. With that being said, we come to our next tip.
Manage your language and emotions
One of the biggest hindrances to open communication and proactive problem-solving communication is our language and emotions. People often get offended by the things said to them. But communication shouldn’t always be used to drive a point or defeat someone; instead, it is used to resolve the issue at hand. That being said, you shouldn’t take personally what other people are saying to you. Employees have to keep their head on their shoulders, be rational and avoid using foul language regardless of how they’re feeling. Not only is this a sign of professionalism but it will also help you resolve the issue quicker.
Professionalism is also seen through time management. Successful employees are able to do everything on time without having to take work home or endanger current projects. Time management is not only a sign of professionalism but also affects your productivity more than anything else. It’s also worth mentioning that not everyone has this skill; it is something that is developed over the years. But, if you wish to progress in your line of work, it is important to hone it as soon as possible.
Honesty and culpability
Oftentimes, employees are prone to covering for their mistakes in a hope that the management will not find out. However, these things are always discovered putting you in an even worse situation. Honesty is the best way to go. By being truthful and forthcoming, you gain more respect in the eyes of your peers and you look more professional at the same time. Taking the blame for your mistakes is the best way to grow and even if your superior gives you a hard time, you will learn from that experience.
Being a team player
Every company appreciates team players. In the end, there will be lots of friction and conflict as you go forward so being able to handle such situations is of the utmost importance. A good team player will work together with other employees, respecting their ideas and opinion. Always remember that your main goal is to achieve results and if you work in a team, you cannot overlook other participants.
Managing your social media accounts
Today, companies are well aware of what their employees are doing online. All of us have social media accounts and sometimes, posting something stupid can affect a company’s reputation. If you’re not managing your accounts properly, it shows that you lack professionalism and can also be a reason for termination of a contract. Ideally, you can keep your accounts private so that only friends and family can see what your posting.
Sometimes, there is more to professionalism than our interpersonal relationships. Our impact on the employees can also be considered professionalism or lack thereof. Good employees will always pick up other team members and provide support when it’s needed. They will comfort them and help them get through a rough patch. The best way to do this is by staying positive no matter what’s happening. You cannot look backward but instead, you have to focus on tasks ahead.
Reacting properly to situations
Putting yourself in a favorable position is always perceived as a negative thing. Employees always have to start from themselves when judging a situation or work performance. No matter what, you shouldn’t scrutinize others for something that you would’ve done or have done in the past. Instead, it is much better to provide support and point out their mistakes. On the other hand, you need to be careful with this approach because if you’re a workaholic or a perfectionist, you cannot expect everyone to follow your model of behavior. You need to help others develop their skills without pushing them overboard or imposing unrealistic expectations.
As you can see, there are lots of different things that are perceived as professional behavior.
Sometimes, these factors may vary from company to company but in general, they are usually the same. In a nutshell, you need to treat other employees like you would your friends by showing them respect, listening to their ideas and supporting them when needed. At the same time, you should never forget that you’re at work and that certain types of behavior are unacceptable.
With these tips, you will be able to do just that.