We were expecting guests at home on Sunday afternoon. The family was supposed to come for lunch and most likely to stay with us till the end of the day. The day before, in the evening my wife was taking the trouble to put the house in order. My kids, anxious and excited (since we do not have many visitors to our place) prepared well to share all that they owned with their would-be friends. Just when I was to start my set of activities to prepare for their visit, the phone rang and the gentleman with a very lame excuse explained his inability to make it. The gentleman did not sound convincing and it did not require any great philosophical insights to judge it. Never mind, if they could not make it.
With extra time at my disposal I thought of penning my thoughts on a statement that I heard earlier, “I believe in maintaining boundaries between ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ relation”. I do not remember exactly the time but I have expressed my feelings on this in my blogs earlier as well.
Despite the definition of ‘professionalism’ is available at a click, I re-state the same-
Definition 1- the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession
Definition 2- the following of a profession (as athletics) for gain or livelihood
Most of the times, I have seen people confuse the two and understand only the second definition.
In behavioral terms, ‘professionalism’ is WRONGLY understood to be:
1. I have to ensure always, about carrying the traits that classifies me as a doctor, manager, entrepreneur etc.
2. I have to show the best conduct possible with my colleagues. Never mind whether it comes from within.
3. Always try to be rational to draw all conclusions with the belief that rationality is an exclusive gift from God.
4. Be smart to know the ‘timing’ when to utter what and get maximum advantage if any, the art of communication offers.
5. Close all discussions and involvement once out of work.
Not many will agree to what I stated above. I will not risk my so called ‘professional’ stance by generalizing the behavior all humans in this world and then get it into a justification mode. Its my perception and I am free to express my perception openly. Atleast this is quite ‘Professional’ on my part (..pun intended)
‘Professionalism’ for me constitutes:
1. The good conduct should extend to our families and friends as well. We cannot be having a dual personality and further complicate our simple short life. We have to respect the individuality of our kids, wife, parents, maid at home or a childhood friend. While they expect a more transparent expression we cannot hold them victim to any of our negative experiences by being disrespectful and rude to them.
2. True professionalism is not operating from a position of power. Its not only about economic dependence. Its emotional dependence as well.
3. At work, professionalism is about not being biased.
4. Building a connection nurtures an efficient work culture. What better than build relations with those you work more than 50 hours per week. I am not saying we become an open register at the entrance of a library that is signed by anyone.We will be limited by the sheer constraint of ‘span of control’. You cannot be known well to more than 5 or max 10 in case of a special human being.
5. We are all in this world for a reason and it is nothing bad about it. We achieve most with cooperation and working together.