What is Professionalism?

Positivity and Professionalism

Professionalism – The skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well

Definition provided by Webster’s Dictionary

The term professionalism is commonly used when referring to work settings.

We often hear people discuss the importance of maintaining a professional attitude in the workplace.  After all, your workplace attitude reflects your company, position, and self.

Regardless of your company rank, daily responsibilities, salary, or any other external circumstance, your attitude will define your character.

However, professionalism is not limited to your attitude in the workplace.

Professionalism, or a lack thereof, will determine your attitude on life, in general.  Your attitude carries the most weight and speaks louder than all other outside factors.

Your reputation is what others perceive you to be, while your character represents who you truly are and what you stand for.  That being said, your attitude is what ultimately defines your character.

Though others can judge or label you based on your attitude, the opinions of others do not dictate what is there or who you are.  Your attitude can not be negotiated nor compromised.  It belongs to you and only you.

You define your attitude, just as your attitude defines you.

In my next post, we’ll explore this subject on a deeper level.  Specifically, we’ll concentrate on the importance of professionalism in the workplace.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

-John Wooden

Find Your Silver Lining

Positivity and Professionalism

Silver Lining – A prospect of hope or comfort in a gloomy situation [From the proverb “Every cloud has a silver lining”]

Definition provided by Webster’s Dictionary

It is human nature to concentrate on the negative components of a situation.  A negative thought process is likely to ensue in the midst of a bad situation.

We are conditioned to dissect our situation, attempting to determine what has gone wrong and why.

Then, in an attempt to prevent further damage, we brainstorm ways in which we can put an immediate halt to the situation.

Often times, we first search for a temporary fix before considering a long-term solution.

From there, we formulate a defense strategy, should we encounter a similar situation in the future.  Our brains are wired this way as a defense mechanism.  This thought process is designed to better prepare us to handle negativity.

While simply trying to make sense of and survive a negative occurrence, it can be extremely difficult to concentrate on its positive aspects and find a silver lining.  The trick is to physically stop, take a deep breath, and mentally remove yourself from the situation for a moment.

As mentioned previously, at the onset of a bad situation, it is perfectly normal for us to immediately begin brainstorming a defense strategy.  However, our first priority should be avoiding a state of panic.  If we’ve already begun to panic, we must take a deep breath and remove ourselves from that irrational state as quickly as possible.

Once palpitations have ceased and thoughts are flowing more clearly, consider the following:

  • The situation could be a lot worse.  Any situation could ALWAYS be a lot worse.  Begin listing ways, to oneself or aloud, in which the situation could be worse.
  • There is always at least one positive transpiration in the midst of any negative occurrence.  Even if it’s a simple matter of personal growth through a difficult learning experience, there is always a positive to be found.  Again, begin listing the positives, either to oneself or aloud.
  • Consider what you’ve accomplished from a perspective of positivity.  Acknowledge the ways in which you’ve controlled your thought process and remained rational while making the best of a bad situation.  Give yourself a pat on the back.
  • Understand that this thought process will require practice for perfection.  This silver lining mentality will not become second nature after just a handful of survived negative situations.  However, once a part of one’s mental makeup, this thought process will help to combat negativity in the future.

The next time you feel negativity swirling around you, consider the above-mentioned coping mechanism.  It is certainly within your power to find a silver lining within even the most bleak of situations.  However, the silver lining won’t reveal itself to you.  It is up to you to take that first deep breath, begin your controlled thought process, and dig to find that silver lining.

This process requires practice, patience, and, of course, positivity.