Friday, August 12, 2022

Professionalism: More Than Just a Handshake and a Smile

Do you ever give any thought to the power of professionalism, or what it even means? We know what we mean when we say "He or she is so professional" or "they handled everything so professionally". Or, if we encounter a disgruntled person, we often say "they weren't very professional". So, with that being said, we know it's a "thing".

Professionalism is a discipline. It's a set of skills and actions that we use in life and business to help us have more positive, productive and successful interactions with others. It's more than just a handshake and a smile. It's our ability to give the best of ourselves to encounters with our best foot forward, and with interest in the best outcomes in those situations.

What exactly does professionalism do for us? It has distinct advantages. Here are a few important things to recognize about professionlism.:

1. Professionalism adds polish to how you do things. True professionalism usually carries with it honesty and authenticity. No facades. No hidden agendas. No nonsense. No games. Professionalism is showing up with a sense of confidence and direction about what is to be achieved for whatever is the purpose, either personally or in business.

2. Professionalism can make you more "attractive" as a person, and in business. How you carry yourself, how well you speak to others, how well you deal with people, can make it easier for others to be drawn into your circle of influence and into your good intentions. 

You show real respect to others, genuinely. People can be easily turned off by insincere behavior and efforts, and interactions that are snobbish or aggressive. Professionalism is developing the skill of understanding how to interact well in whatever situation you are in with anyone.

3. Professionalism can give you access, leverage and advantages. Along with that great smile and handshake, showing up as a "polished" individual has its merits. Oftentimes, you can be immediately liked when you present your best image and personality. How you carry yourself, how you look and how you talk can open doors. If your image and the impact you make is favorable, people are also typically impressed by that, and tend to have a greater trust and confidence in what you have to offer as an individual. 

Is all of this easy? Maybe not in the beginning, but you have numerous opportunities daily to practice with friends, family, co-workers, on the phone, and in business encounters and interactions of all kinds. My advice: do not miss even one opportunity to use professionalism and what you can and learn from it. Professionalism is a great skill set, the kind that you can use over and over and over with outstanding results, most every time. ~ S.R.F.

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