‘Professional’… the term has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? Now when I say professional I don’t mean like someone qualified brilliantly or related to a specific job, like a professional app designer, or a doctor or lawyer, or even a hitman. I mean the term wherein we say a person who understands that there is a different kind of conduct expected and needed when at work/job then how one would behave in a more casual or personal setting.
So, what do you think makes a professional? Knowing there job/tasks at hand, sure, but it takes more than that, it takes understanding the factor that success comes from team-work in any work environment. A successful team is the one that is understanding of each other and is able to accept the differences amongst them and work through them keeping in mind the one goal.
No two people are the same, hell even the fingers in a hand aren’t made equal, so how can humans be the same. Hence the fact remains that differences are common, they can be differences in your opinion, your culture, religions, beliefs, age, education background, your modus operandi, your thoughts on what is more relevant, for that matter even when planning a team lunch, there are always multi-choices for the options, venue, even contribution amounts. So in nutshell differences are aplenty in the workspace, and with organizations going global, even something standard like time isn’t the same. So, what is the best way to deal with it?
A true professional will understand the obvious that differences are routine and in some ways good and healthy. They are a part and parcel of our lives even outside work. But in order to maintain the sanctity at work, one has to be willing to accommodate the differences, not to take things personally, and always approach things with an open mind. What also helps it’s best to keep things impersonal, even if on a personal level there is some difference, do not bring it to work. Always remember that offices are meant for work-related issues.
Just for a minute, consider this – at some point of time in our lives we all are wrong, and it’s ok, and this fact doesn’t determine our value as a person, hence we rightfully expect to be accepted as we are and to be treated with respect and be heard. The same applies to every other individual you will come in contact with. The crucial factor is to extend the same courtesy of hearing people out, understanding their viewpoint, and not crucifying them. In essence, keeping an open mind and not getting judgemental.
Research shows that when teams (companies, departments, etc. etc.) are accepting of each other, it leads to a trust-worthy safe environment for people to work in. When we feel accepted, we work better, there is enhanced productivity, lesser stress, creativity flows, and greater respect and fewer Monday blues and absenteeism. Understanding the differences doesn’t mean you always have to abide by someone else’s ideas forgoing your own, it just means that this makes way for honest and open communication, which can lead to better outcomes, and you can always agree to disagree without negatively impacting the work-relationship. Which means no future sabotaging or holding on to grudges.
I am not sure if it sounds difficult or impractical, but the truth is there is nothing more realistic than treating people with kindness, outside and inside the workplace, and a true professional will already be applying it in there lives.