Your professional presence is the sum of the many qualities you communicate to your colleagues, superiors, employees and clients on a daily basis. You may not realize it, but even small gestures, actions and words make a big difference in how you are perceived as a professional.
Ask yourself: how do I want others to think of me? What kind of manager do I want to be? What kind of employee?
Think about other professionals you admire. What qualities do they share? What behaviors do you want to emulate?
You can work toward these goals and improve your professional presence simply by focusing on one important quality: reliability.
Professionalism in the Workplace Through Reliability
1. Be on time.
Punctuality inspires confidence and demonstrates respect for other people’s time. If your colleagues and employees know you arrive five minutes before 9 every morning and start every meeting precisely on time, they will admire your discipline (and may even try to follow your example).
2. Do what you say you will.
Take each of your commitments seriously and promise to follow-through on every project you take on. This approach means you must think about your time realistically and know when to delegate and when to say “no” graciously.
3. Be someone others can count on.
Make it clear that others in your organization can come to you for help or guidance in their work. Be a good teacher, mentor and listener, and demonstrate that you care about your employees’ professional development.
4. Focus on honesty and integrity.
Your professional presence should have a strong foundation in your personal principles and the values of your organization. Hold yourself and others to high standards, and speak up when you question the direction you are heading in.
What quality do you think is most important for professionalism in the workplace?