Self-examination is critical for any business person, and it’s important to always make sure that you are checking yourself to ensure that your customers and co-workers are getting the best version of yourself. To that end, assessing whether your attitude is professional or not is critical to your success in any industry.

Here are 6 questions to answer when assessing your professionalism:

  1. Do you look the part: The answer to this question is critical, because first impressions go a long way in determining a person’s success. It’s always better to over dress than under dress. Take a look at your competitors, see what they’re doing. Always try to do just a little better. This will help you get an advantage and reinforce your professionalism.
  2. Are you punctual: I was always told that it’s better to be five minutes early than thirty seconds late. This is critical in business. If you’re early, this means you’re taking seriously the task at hand. When you’re late, it shows selfishness and a lack of preparation. Don’t be the unprepared guy, be the guy who is a serious businessperson.
  3. Do you speak well: Having a good business vocabulary shows that you are a person who is well educated. Customers always like working with smart people, and team members have great confidence in an intelligent leader. Make sure your vocabulary is free of profanity and that you’re able to explain complex thoughts in an easy-to-understand manner while not resorting to the same words every time.
  4. Do others feel you respect them: How do you act towards others? This is simple – treat people how you wish to be treated. Talk to them respectfully and humbly. Don’t yell or scream, and always leave a conversation with a positive note. Never ask people for more than they can deliver. When they do a job well, praise them. When their efforts fall short, help them get there.
  5. Do you listen: Think about what you do when people talk to you. Make sure you look people in the eye, don’t interrupt, and most of all, paraphrase what they say and repeat it back to them. This shows that you are concerned with their concerns, and it reeks of professionalism. Plus, by not saying much, you don’t betray your inner thoughts – always a bonus.
  6. Do you exude positivity: The critical component here is how you approach tasks. Think about how you go into the job – do you have think about what will go well or do you worry about what will go wrong. Focus on the positive and when a hiccup occurs, deal with it at the time. Your reassured nature will rub off on your associates, and your calm under pressure will be a hallmark of your professionalism.

Professionalism is all about behaviors, and behaviors are actionable manifestations of your attitude. Being professional is a critical component to business success. Make sure that you are always able to answer these questions honestly, and if the answer is not what it should be, then make the appropriate adjustments.

“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.”

Ryan C. Lowe

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