Professionalism

professionals

I’ve gone back and forth over how to approach this subject for most of a week. I’ve talked myself into, and then out of doing it. Too many issues and pitfalls I tell myself. Then I think, the subject matter will continue to go over in my mind until I write it, so here goes:

There seem to be very few people that totally understand the notion of professionalism. I have been into so many places and been shocked by the complete lack of regard for professional language. When you go to a shop, you expect to be treated with some kind of courtesy. It seems to me that there is a lack of expectation now. It no longer matters how people conduct themselves within their business setting. It also seems that there is a lack of confidentiality and rumour mills abound. That you can be in a dentist or a doctor’s waiting room and hear comments that you know are not for your ears.

Whatever happened to the notion of self-control? The notion of following guidelines? That ever so burning piece of information, that should be left where it belongs. Is there any wonder that some people have trust issues. How many people keep their word? Hold to a promise? Is it all too easy to just break that word or promise in the name of convenience?

I try to conduct myself in a way that is professional, regardless of where I am. What I do reflects on those around me. When I drive, I try my best to follow the rules, and am constantly appalled by the number of drivers that take insane risks on the roads. When people do something that reflects badly on me, I struggle with it. It is difficult not to get angry and upset. It takes me a while to compose myself and deal with the situation in a way that is professional. I always give myself the time to do it. I hold myself to account and am courteous regardless of the situation.

So righteous indignation, this view of mine. One side of a story told. Behind every piece of gossip shared there can be a good intention. Most people do genuinely care about what they do. They blow off steam when they are stressed or upset. When a situation is emotionally charged, words are exchanged that can’t ever be unsaid. This doesn’t excuse actions, but it might just explain them somewhat.

There was part of me once when I was a teenager, that felt the need to make people pay for their mistakes. I would get back at people in subtle ways and they would know not to cross me again. I know that there is always that option, but I do not want to be that person again. Hate and retribution will never make things better. Putting myself in another person’s shoes and understanding why (even if I don’t agree), is a far better way of fixing things.

We live in a world where people are far from perfect. A world where people mess up all the time. It is how we respond to a situation that matters. We cannot make people understand us, but we can try to understand them.