Have you ever seen a colleague, a boss, or a leader display unprofessional behavior and wonder how they maintain their position?
It might make you wonder whether anything you do comes across that way.
No matter how much education and self-awareness you may have, it’s possible that your professionalism is being undermined by unconscious behavior.
If you’re not doing as well as you’d like, if your career hasn’t scaled to the heights you’ve always expected of yourself, it may be that unprofessional habits—even subtle ones—are limiting your success.
Pay close attention to your own behavior and analyze it as you would someone else’s.
Here are five of the most common unprofessional habits that damage promising careers:
1. Wandering eyes.
It’s one of those little cues that can happen to the best of us without our even noticing. When someone is speaking to you and going on a bit long, or when you disagree with someone you subtly avert your eyes, looking across the room, maybe glancing at a clock or watch or paying attention to something else going on in the background. Letting your eyes wander sends a unspoken message that your mind is wandering as well and clearly signals your disengagement, no matter what you say. Stay focused on the person who’s speaking to show you’re paying attention.
2. Always being the expert.
We all know someone who considers themselves an expert on every subject—even though it’s often clear to everyone that they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s a great way to make sure your ideas are never taken seriously and you’re dismissed as someone who likes the sound of their own voice. It’s damaging in another way as well: if you’re always speaking, you’re never learning. Listen to what others have to say and acknowledge when you’re outside your range of knowledge.
3. Talking down to others.
There is no quicker way to earn mistrust and ill will than talking down to someone. In trying to elevate yourself, you instead create a huge divide between you and the person you’re talking with (and everybody else within range). Making others feel small goes beyond being unprofessional, it’s rude and morally questionable. Especially when you’re explaining a new concept to someone, take great care to keep your tone and word choice respectful and even.
4. Always being late.
Life is busy and time is fleeting. Few of us can honestly say we’ve never been late. But being known as someone who’s habitually late tells others that you respect only your own time, and not the time of others. Being on time, is a courtesy you give to others, and it says, I respect you. Being late is not a bad habit, it’s a choice one makes. if you are chronically late, you are chronically rude.
5. Using ”&*#[email protected]!” language.
While this should be common sense, its surprising how many professionals also believe that the use of profanities is acceptable in a professional setting. the tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart, so we always must be careful of our words. Regardless of what line of work you do, who your colleagues are, it is never a good habit to use language that is inappropriate, and that is true in professional or personal life. sometimes the sheer use of a exploit language will take away from the essence of what you want to say. Speak with conviction then deliver what you have to say with passion, this has the same effect.
Lead From Within: As leaders it’s important to remember that your behavior is the mirror in which you either come across as professional or unprofessional.
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.