These are seven attributes of a highly professional person :

1. Be friendly but not familiar.

“Love your neighbour – but don’t pull down your hedge”

In addressing customers, always start off formally unless you have the other person’s permission to address him by his first name.  Also, take care not to shorten someone’s  name, e.g. “Samantha” to “Sam” or “Richard” to “Rich”.  You will come across as being casual or unprofessional.

 2 . Be sensible and discreet.

“Even a woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head”

 If you have access to private and confidential information about a client or an office matter, do not broadcast it to your friends or colleagues.  Breaking a client or a friend’s confidentiality will cause them to lose their trust in you.

3. Be willing and respectful.

“If not me, then who?  If not now, then when?” 

When called upon to do a project or an assignment, do not show reluctance.  If it is beyond your ability, seek your colleagues’ help or ask for more for time to get it done.

4. Be authoritative, but not autocratic.

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other men. True nobility is in being  superior to your previous self.”

When you need to reprimand or correct a staff, never do it in the open office.  Do it in the privacy of your office or a conference room or others will resent your big-bully     attitude.

Any display of anger or criticism should be private, never public.  Big bosses do say “sorry” and “thank you” too.

5. Always be considerate and sensitive.

“No one can hurt you without your consent”.

Be sensitive so that you are aware when you hurt the feelings of others.  Their feedback is the best gauge – check their facial expressions, their body language or the tone of their reply to you.

When solving problems, focus on the problem and do not get personal.  On the other hand, if you have been hurt, remember your feelings and your thoughts about anything or any occurrence are your own responsibility and nobody else’s.

We are a product of our choices, not our circumstances.  There will always be ups and downs in your working life.  Whether it is an unpleasant task, an annoying colleague or   even an unreasonable boss or customer, tell yourself that “nothing can ever happen to you that you cannot handle if you prepare yourself psychologically and emotionally”.

6. Have a big positive, mental attitude.

It is good to remember that the tea kettle although up to its neck in hot water, continues to sing”

Cultivate a great, positive mental attitude.  Say ‘can do’ rather than, “I can’t”; “yes, but…” or “I’ll try…”.

 7. Be a team-player.

“Remember the banana – when it left the bunch, it got skinned.”

Nobody likes to work with someone who is selfish or self-centred enough to think of “I, me and myself” all the time.  Even on the golf course, helping to look for lost golf balls shows you are a team player.

“There is little difference in people. But that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude.
The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
- W C Stone