Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Professional Mind

 It takes a decade to grow a tree, and it takes more than one generation to shape the digital fit mindset.

Digital workforce and workplace is more diverse and dynamic than ever today, not only there are multi-generational workforce working in the same physical building, but also there are multi-cultural digital workers collaborating in the virtual team across-geographical boundary, From industry HR/talent management survey, unprofessionalism is still pervasive, and bullying is very alive in the workplace, it damages business reputation and tarnish the trust of society. So the challenge would be, how to shape the professional mind of digital workers, build a high-performing business culture, to unleash talent potential and achieve high-level business maturity?

Unprofessionalism is one of the big symptoms of a toxic culture. Many of us like Drucker’s witty quote: culture eats strategy for breakfast. One of the symptoms of toxic culture is unprofessionalism, or bullying, which has developed over time as a catch-all term for a range of pernicious behaviors, highlights a negative culture with the organizational design of an enterprise. The irradiation of bullying is an enterprise-wide responsibility, as the damage to reputation is equally wide and tainting. When unprofessionalism is encouraged and mediocrity gets rewards, the corporate value is diminished, the leadership influence turns negative and the society moves backward.

Unprofessionalism can take on so many formsfrom back-biting to rumor mongering; from negative bullying to unhealthy competition. Bullying is not just the loud obnoxious aggression, but it can also be subtle disrespect given to someone's ideas or efforts, especially when it causes undo harm to someone perceived value in doing their job. It is worth clarifying that the scale of the failure is in the eyes of the victim; today’s managers that grew in a competitive (either positive or negative) social environment, riding on waves of pressure, playing political smartness, may miss signs of suffering in their teams if they are not adequately focused.

A professional mind thinks before saying or acting: It's as simple as that. It is an empathetic mind, put yourself in the other person’s position, and think as if you were the other person, listening more than talking and doing is also a huge help for both sides of the equation, and that goes for one's personal life and professional life. The spirit of the organization comes from the top, the leaders and managers have to exemplify and lead via professionalism first, because it is very challenging to respect, listen to or follow a person whose ego dictates their actions/reactions, whose thinking is lack of empathy, whose EQ is low, and or whose behaviors are unprofessional.

A professional mind follows the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. Bullying has a cost to the corporate environment which comes in many forms, and equality and respect for all who work for the company need to be foremost in a company's policies of behavior. Individuals respond to being bullied in so many different ways and although conflict in the workplace is not necessarily bullying, we have to be vigilant that it stays as a difference of ideas and does not escalate beyond that. Further, we need to feel free to act to remove bullying when it is seen. Everyone needs to do their part to confront and remove the act of bullying in all its forms. This does not imply publicly airing of the issue as that can harm the company and the individuals further, but of addressing the acts as they occur and ask for it to stop. We must all get involved to fight stop bullying in all its forms and in all its locals school, work, home, and places, etc.

It takes a decade to grow a tree, and it takes more than one generation to shape the right mindset. Loss of data makes a company look bad and we know the business implications, but reports of unprofessionalism publicly imply a negative culture exists within all of its members, and that can take generations of change to address. It is leader’s priority and digital workforce’s responsibility to educate self and coach others, to set the high standard for their professionalism, to be their best in professional development or life pursuit, and co-create the big story better for the mankind progress and societal advancement.


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