How many of you reading this are members of ‘professional’ or even ‘personal’ groups? Maybe with your church, chamber, Rotary or you hold a non-profit membership? What is your attitude towards the group?
Do you arrive on time? Or better yet early?
Do you participate?
Are you in line for leadership?
Do you volunteer when you see a need?
Or are you just keeping a seat warm?
I don’t know about the mindset of today’s professional, but mine is actions speak loudly in regards to personal and professional character. I for one chose first to do business with those that show a level of dedication no matter the situation.
As a member of many groups, my first thought before joining is can I give value to this group and out of that giving will I gain value from the relationships with the members? My second thought is can I comply with the requirements of membership? Having been raised by parents that instilled a high level of responsibility I do struggle with creating valuable relationships as there are sadly not many professionals these days that respect commitments to a level worth making note of.
We were always 30 minutes early to church, events my parents were invited to we were early and the offer of help was always given at the beginning and at the close of the event. I do not even know what ‘fashionably late’ means, as this is not Hollywood! I remember hearing my parents on the phone prior to attending a function asking if there was anything they could bring and to this day I cannot remember a time where we ever inconvenienced anyone. I am pretty sure even for the three births of myself and my siblings that my Mom had her bag ready weeks in advance, numbers on the fridge and arrived at the hospital early enough to get checked in properly. I can even see her bringing homemade snickerdoodles for the nurses – LOL! My Dad would have lesson plans premade for his bible class so that if he would not be able to attend the person he had to assist would be more than prepared.
Fast forward to my career that is unfolding and the struggle is real to smile genuinely to those that repeatedly arrive late, come unprepared, obviously ‘wing it’ with their responsibilities or half-@ss their leadership/membership position.
Is it just me or are there others that think to themselves; “That is not someone I would count on?”, “That is not someone I would recommend to my connections?” or “That is not someone I would ever go out of my way for?”.
Do they even realize the meaning of ‘First Impressions’ or ‘Perceptions’ or ‘Professional Etiquette’? Maybe the training I went through with my first company that re-instilled what my parents grew in me by example is not being taught anymore? Maybe their inner circle of friends has never said anything to them? Or maybe their friends are also lacking professional ethics? Whatever it is – I am thinking it is past time for self-proclaimed professionals to step up and take stock of the image they are projecting if they care about achieving a higher level of success. What is your level of professionalism? ~Kristi Kirkland