10 Everyday habits that make you appear unprofessional at work
By Patricia Uyeh
Picture this, an employee was sending an official email to his client but the mail was filled with several typographical errors. That alone has eliminated his chance of a meaningful business relationship. Yes, we are not perfect but, there are some things that rule us out as unprofessional, here they are:
1. Using swear words
This one really is at the top of the list. Again, it’s not the profanity itself (although that often doesn’t help). It’s the laziness. If someone constantly uses the F-word as an all-purpose adjective, it makes you wonder whether they’re equally uncreative and slothful in everything they do.
2. Coming late to work
I must admit this is a tendency I’ve had to work hard to combat in my own life. Show up when you say you will, and you send a message that you’re professional enough to care.
We’re all human. We’re mammals. We notice alluring members of whatever gender we’re biologically predisposed to be attracted to. Yet, that same humanity also means we should have the self-control to keep the “up-and-down look” under control, so to speak. Eyes up here, my friend, or you’ll look like a creepy amateur.
I’ve always been a bit bothered by the fact that the word “Pollyannaish” suggests the concept of having too much unrealistic optimism. Still, when, after a disaster, a colleague or a vendor insists that things are absolutely fine—while simple common sense tells you they’re not—it undermines his or her professionalism.
This is when you are fickle and irresponsible. Telling someone you’ll be at a certain place, or that you’ll accomplish a certain thing, and then you never do it? Sorry, you’re irresponsible
Anyone who gets more than 1,000 emails a day probably falls into this category. As most of us who run businesses understand, clients and customers expect you to reply quickly. They want you to be able to talk about their situations (seemingly) off-the-cuff. If you aren’t in control of your own situation, they’ll wonder how you can possibly be in control of theirs.
This one is like, so like, obvious—and yet, a lot of people like—they don’t really, like, get it. And that just, like, totally makes them seem like—well, not really professional, because they, like, can’t even get to the point of what they want to say and like, make it clear and stuff.
Enough said. I’d actually throw bad grammar into this category as well—although with the caveat that we’ve all known some very smart, professional people whose language simply betrayed their lack of formal education, or whose first tongue wasn’t ours.
8. Lack of openness
Sure, we all have private lives, but most of the time, our businesses don’t truly involve them. If you’re hiding important information from employees or clients, you’re not doing much for your reputation as a leader, and you’re probably making them wonder whether they can trust you.
A really brilliant salesperson once told me her art of selling was about “making the maximum promise you can, consistent with your ability to deliver.” Entrepreneurs often push the envelope on this, but the key is to make sure you’re confident you will eventually be able to make good on your promises.
10. Cheating and Lying
These two are obvious. As President George W. Bush once tried to say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Source: The Muse
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