Developing Emotional Intelligence

The communication between your emotional and rational “brains” is the physical source of emotional intelligence. The pathway for emotional intelligence starts in the brain, at the spinal cord. Your primary senses enter here and must travel to the front of your brain before you can think rationally about your experience. However, first they travel through the limbic system, the place where emotions are generated. So, we have an emotional reaction to events before our rational mind is able to engage. Emotional intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain.” Copied. Moral here: use your mind before you act.

In our work and/or personal lives we happen meet people who: Good listeners, Good talkers (know what to say and how to say it) without causing any offense, are caring and considerate, outgoing and cheerful, control their anger and aggressiveness, committed to others, look at themselves honestly, accept criticism, and handle problems and anxiety calmly. All these wonderful traits arise when there is a high EI in place. People like those above know themselves very well, are able to control their own lives and get along easily with others sensing and understanding others’ emotional needs and outcomes. Would you like to become one of them? By learning how to enhance your emotional intelligence, you are one step closer to becoming an emotionally smart person. Here are a few ideas that would help you out.

  1. First, why not to check your current status? Many books and tests are available to help you determine your current EI, and identify where you may need to do some work.
  2. Once you identify what is missing, start a daily journal. Writing down your thoughts can improve your self-awareness and facilitate following up the development progress. Writing it down will help you understand what you did, why, how did it make you feel/ act? What did you do well? What could you improve on? Just reflecting on this every day, will enhance your self-awareness, the way you handle your emotions and how to act against others’ emotions.
  3. Practice to control yourself and do not rush into things acting on the pulse. Do you get provoked very quickly? How do you behave when things go wrong? You must learn how to calm yourself down and remember that you can always choose how you react to it. Try to de-stress and distract yourself from negativity in the way that soothes you the best. Try to change your posture, stand up if you are sitting, get off the car if driving, think of the old ‘count to ten’ technique, or think of something else to delay action. The emotive part of the brain should pause a bit, allowing the rational portion to take charge.
  4. Practice not to rush into judgment, for example, when you get angry in a situation, try first to find whose fault it was and whether you are blaming others or they really deserved your anger. Know all the facts and then try to put yourself in their place, are you going to do the same as what they did or they are still guilty? If they are not, then be more open and accepting of their perspectives and needs.
  5. Learn how to read others’ body language. Start by observing how other people react and relate upon hearing good news and bad news. You’ll be able to deduce their respective emotions quite easily and pick up some emotional cues.
  6. Stop taking things personally especially in the work place. Criticism can be constructive and allows you to improve professionally and personally. Ask whoever giving you feedback, what is his/her suggestions to fix whatever issues he/she thinks you have/make.
  7. One great way to enhance your emotional intelligence is by reaching out. People won’t always tell you when they’re upset or when they’re frustrated. Listening to other problems and sufferings, understanding what it is that made that person feel a certain way, can help you look back on these incidents and know what to expect should a similar situation occur in future.
  8. Respect cross-cultural changes when you deal with different cultures. Examine how your ideas or actions affect them. Learn to think about and appreciate what they are saying and the background/reasons behind it.
  9. Seize the benefit of introducing some humor. Without having this cross the limits being understood as mocking or disrespect, try to add a sense of light humor to the conversation that will ease the situation and help matters not to spark.

These are some of the ways by which you can enhance your emotional intelligence. The more you practice them, the better you will be at handling everybody’s emotions and yourselves as well, until it becomes a habit and a skill. And as they say Repetition is the mother of skill.


Emotional Intelligence

A study of Harvard graduates in the fields of law, medicine, teaching and business observed that scores on entrance exams, a surrogate for IQ, had zero or negative correlation with their eventual career success. Paradoxically, IQ was found to have limited power in predicting the success of people smart enough to handle the most demanding fields, and the value of emotional intelligence was found to be higher for entry into particular fields. In MBA programs, engineering, law, or medicine, where professional selection focused almost exclusively on IQ, EQ carried far more weight than IQ in determining who emerged successful.” copied. Another finding states that people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Although IQ is important for academic excellence, it does not necessarily contribute to success in career or even social life.

Emotional Intelligence (EI), also referred to as EQ (emotional quotient), is defined as the ability to perceive, judge, and control one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, to respond to them in positive and healthy ways, realize how they affect you and the people around you, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. Emotional Intelligence is inaccurately claimed to be many things it is not, it is not a personality trait, social skill, emotion or a motive.

Emotional Intelligence is a way of acknowledging self or others feelings, understanding them, and the choosing how to think and act based on that understanding. Emotions like anger, happiness, anxiety, enthusiasm, optimism, over-excitement, sadness, fear, shame and/or love, when understood and controlled can allow us to make decisions that achieve positive results, set priorities according to the current situation, increase the self-confidence, motivate ourselves and others, manage relationships more effectively, and getting along with peoples’ social complexities.

The Stages of EI

  1. Perceiving Nonverbal Signals: involves understanding nonverbal signals accompanied with emotions, such as facial expressions, body language and voices. How accurately one can perceive self-emotions, and others’ emotions, in the face, body language or voice is considered as the starting point for the understanding of emotions.
  2. Understanding Emotions: Emotions do carry information. The ability to think of and understand the various causes of emotions, messages the emotions show, prioritize what to pay attention and react to, and what to discard on the other hand, and the chain of actions associated with emotions, is considered as the core of this stage. For example, if you and your partner are driving back home, and he/she is acting angry, the causes might be because he/she is dissatisfied with you, had a bad day at work, or it could be because of bad traffic. A message of anger, for example, may mean that the individual feels treated unfairly. The anger, in turn, might be associated with actions like: attacking, revenge-seeking, or preferring isolation for the peace of mind.
  3. Managing Emotions: Once the information behind yours and others emotions is gathered and understood, it can be voluntarily controlled to be used for desirable positive actions rather than causing sadness or harm. A person may want to remain open to unpleasant emotional signals so long as they are not too painful, especially when you are trying to better understand a friend or a colleague, but at the same time, he/she should be able to block out the harmful and destructive ones.

EI in the Workplace

Some studies had revealed that 80% of the difference in performance among top executives can be traced to emotional intelligence. EI is found to be a better predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs than either IQ results or having a relevant work experience. The most effective leaders in the US Navy were found to be the ones who have warmer, more outgoing, emotionally expressive, and more sociable. In a group study, having the good positive feelings cultivated among the group led to improved cooperation, fairness, enhanced overall group performance, lower staff turnover (having employees less-likely to leave the company due to inter-employee issues), and increased sales and net profit per employee.

An employee’s ability to perceive, identify, and manage emotion provides the basis for the kinds of social and emotional competencies such as Influence, Initiative or Achievement drive that are important for success in almost any job. An employee with high emotional intelligence is someone who has a calm assuring behavior, in control no matter what the situation, a good listener, compassionate but not overfriendly, works well in a team, adapts easily to change, inspire and influence others, manage conflicts easily, and usually takes the right informed decisions.


Organizations now lay much emphasis on EQ in their selection process when hiring, promotions, career development, succession planning, and managers and leaders induction. EQ enables managers to have skills motivating employees, managing work relationships with subordinates and teammates, building new teams and enhancing their effectiveness. Emotional intelligence also enhances productivity, profitability, team collaboration and psychological well-being in the workplace.

One important note in the end, emotional intelligence does not and should not be thought of as a replacement or substitute for ability, knowledge or job skills. The EI can be a good predictor of high performance but does not guarantee it in the absence of the needed job skills.

Corporate Lessons not learnt in Undergrad Life

Do not act based on Assumptions. Ask a lot and do the research before taking action.

Verbal communication does not count, document anything via documents or e-mails to save them formally.

Always set the right expectations when dealing with a colleague, a manager or a customer, especially when you are expecting delays, new changes, or when saying no to an offer or a task.

Make sure that your effort is showing up to your managers. Working too hard in shadows will not help.

Work effectively. Do the right thing with the adequate effort, instead of paying too much effort but in vain without getting any needed results. Imagine two football teams, one plays too hard and run a lot, and the other scores. The latter knew how to benefit from chances they had, also how to utilize their efforts right.

Delay when Angry. Never respond to an e-mail, or verbally, while you are angry. I remember a motto that says the best cure of anger is delay. Delay your response back for a day and believe me you will be surprised that you have responded in a completely different way than replying instantly while you were agitated.

Your career development is totally your responsibility. Despite the company and your manager may offer support in that regards, still you need to take the lead and ask for all development opportunities you need to take.

You cannot please everyone in the workplace. Seeking the satisfaction of your CEO, all managers and all colleagues/employees is a myth. Always program yourself to do the right thing, following the company management decisions, rules and regulations.

Unlike your group of friends in school or college, do not expect work colleagues to cover you up, or act for your favor. In corporate world everyone will secure himself/herself, saving their jobs and paychecks. Be prepared for that.

Do not participate in grapevine or office gossip. Talking about only one employee can show to others that you can also gossip about them.

Business Signatures, Introduce Yourself the Right Way

When you are presenting yourself to someone or to an entity, you want to make a good impression. Not only your physical look is important, but also the oft-forgotten business signatures. Whether written in an e-mail or printed on a business card, your business signature is not an option when it comes to business.

Why is it so important that you have a presentable business card or e-mail signature?

  • It tells people who you are and what you do.
  • It reflects your personality, how people perceive you, and the tone of every email/introduction you make.
  • Makes you more reachable. Business people will rely on business signature for contact information and your company details.
  • It’s a good marketing tool, it can drive more clients to your company or more traffic to your website. You can use it to promote special offers or newsletters in your business.

Make sure to include

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Company’s name or logo
  • Business phone number
  • Business e-mail
  • Company’s Website URL – This is a must, especially if you’re corresponding with people working on internet related businesses. Instead of hyperlinking the URL with a display text like “company website,” type out the URL, which will be useful for those who want to copy and paste the address.

You May Include

  • Alternate Phone Numbers –Avoid including multiple phone numbers and email addresses, unless you have several business contacts or want to state an emergency contact.
  • When to get in touch with you – timing at which you would available to receive phone calls or respond to e-mails.
  • Standard company disclaimer/ non-disclosure agreement (generally in a smaller italic font) Only If your emails include confidential information, or your job deals with sensitive information. Check your country/company standard statements if exist.

Don’t Include

  • Personal details:
    • Personal Social Media Links –Facebook, Twitter, Twitter, IM or Skype. But still, you can add your professional network links such as LinkedIn.
    • Your home phone number or address.
    • Personal e-mail or the URL of your personal website; they could be suspected as spam.
    • Personal Photo, unless mandated by company regulations or for certain jobs like journalists or writers having their signatures published in media.
  • Quotes – Quotes are fun for family and friends, but they are risky when talking business as they might offend someone or give the wrong impression.
  • Your skills and/or your accomplishments. They belong to your CV.
  • Your degrees as it can look arrogant to some people, unless they are needed/related to your job.
  • Your company Fax number or mailing address. Both can easily be located from the company website. State them if the company has no existence on the Internet.

Keep it Short

It can be challenging to recipients to go through a very long or heavily formatted signature to find your contact information. Do not go for more than 5 lines, having average of 80 characters per line. Condense the lines into fewer ones by using dashes (-), colons (:) or pipes (|) to separate the different fields. Not too long business signatures are professional, easy to digest and informative. When using e-mail signatures, use the full version of signature when starting a new thread, use shorter versions for replying or forwarding.

Images and Colors

Unless you are in an art-related business, your business signature should be in simple plain text with minimal use of colors, uncommon fonts or graphics. Otherwise use your creativity to make your signature more attractive and less boring. Images should be used with care and attention. They should be small in both dimensions and size (try to go for less than 1 MB). Do not use too many colors, stick to a color theme of two colors or simply use the color scheme of your company.


Some companies have internal policies relating to business card templates and e-mail signature templates. They may also have policies related to non-disclosure agreements, legal disclaimers, e-mail virus scanning methods, working hours.. etc. Check these policies before starting to prepare your signature from scratch. Also check out the related rules that apply in your country. Some countries require to have the company VAT number in signature, if exists. Other countries require the company registration number and the place of registration.

Finally, it might be boring and the last item on your list of things to do is correctly writing your business signature, but in fact it really worth it. It is never bad to seek your family and friends’ opinions on your signature before having your signature printed and/or published.

Switching Careers (Part 2)

Exploring the New Career

After deciding what career best suits you, and have listed all the needed skills and talents, and what skills that you already have and will transfer over into your new career, it’s time to get the needed experience that will help you to bridge the gap of experience of the new field.

  • Training

One of the biggest obstacles you face when switching careers is having the knowledge and skills to do the job. Check universities, colleges, schools or institutes that have relevant degree programs. This doesn’t necessarily mean an extra degree or even years of classroom time. It could be as simple as attending a one-day sales seminar, a 1-3 week vocational workshop, or an evening writing class. Night classes can be a worthy alternative if you are still at your current day job. Your instructor and/or class mates can be a good source of advice.

  • Informational Interviews

Search for opportunities to undergo informational interviews. They can provide you straight face-to-face talk with actual professionals about your considered career. You do not only gain their opinions, but also the opportunity to network with them, get well known, and get recommendations for future vacancies.

  • Family and Friends

Family and friends are always a good source of information. They all simply know you well. Discuss your plans with them and seek their opinion about your new career and whether you can fit in it or not. If not, what other possibilities, in their opinions, can suite you?

  • Networking

Network with people in your new career field, this could be achieved via attending formal events, joining professional associations, or simply catching up with friends in a party. A network can be family, neighbors, friends, colleagues, friends of friends, colleagues of colleagues. Exchange with them your contact information, be in contact with them on regular basis to greet them, congratulate them, not only when you need them, try to meet them in person, show respect and sincerity in their careers/businesses. Networking with new people will not only help you to learn more about your new career, it can also open the door to possible job opportunities.

  • Engaging with a Mentor

It is wise to find someone you can talk to sort out everything and put you on the right path. Lots of experts and researchers agree that having a mentor is huge when it comes to career success. A mentor can best be a senior professional in your desired field or a career counselor. Someone you’d love to talk to and exchange ideas with. The mentor can help you to explore the field in which you’re interested, meet people in that field, find a job/start the business and settle in it. You may find a mentor program in your company, why not use it?

  • Time Donation

Another way to seek relevant experience in your dream career is to volunteer your time in a related lower-level job, for free or less pay. Volunteer at an animal vet or a zoo if you want a career related to animals. If you think of opening a cafe, find a well-run cafe and ask if they have any part-time jobs. If you dream of working as an architectural engineer, you can start as a trainee at a real estate construction company participating in doing small real tasks. Want to scrutinize if working as a nurse is the right choice for you, volunteer at a hospital and check how you will perform and cope with the various parameters in such environment.

Doing real tasks, very close to co-workers in your new field can enrich your knowledge about the day-to-day duties and the needed relevant skills. This will also show if this new career is fitting into your life or not.

Prepare a new Resume and Cover Letter

Do not be terrified due to the lack of full job experience. Adjust your resume to reflect the new skills you have learned from trainings and volunteering. Focus on your talents and specific accomplishments rather than the previous job experience. List books read, conferences attended, research conducted, and formal education. Also list the transferrable skills attained from previous professional experiences that can be used in the new job.

To discuss more about the shift in career, talk about it in your cover letter. State what interested you in the new career and the steps you have taken to be prepared for the job. Show how you can add value in the job you are applying for.

Job Search

One good advice is to keep your current job while you are searching for the new one. Visit employment agencies, viewing job listings and classifieds to locate a new vacancy. Before looking outside, consider searching within your company, another department and or another location. Make sure that your resume and cover letter are ready in hand. Think of jobs that allow you to do what you really want to do, at least in some form, and apply your skills and talents every day. Be creative and open-minded. Focus on what your inner feelings guide you to do. Once you are at the door for an interview, focus on the talents you have and the future you want to live, keep it short, do not divert the interviewer by lengthy explanations.

Final Advice

Although lots of people dream of changing careers, but some don’t actually do it. Making a change, whether big or small, is going to stir up some apprehension, some people are terrified of change either because they are too old, cannot handle the financial risk accompanied by that change, or even they don’t know the right way to do it.

You have to accept the sacrifice. You should pay the right effort and time to reach your satisfactory career. You may have to start all over from the beginning, leaving all your previous years of experience and knowledge. You could possibly face a little rejection at the beginning due to your little experience.

Set clear plan of changing career to-do tasks; commit to at least one daily task. A task could be a half-hour to send e-mails, or doing networking phones during your work break. Be mindful that there will be hecklers and/or inner negative thoughts all along the way. “You spent all that money on your degree and now you aren’t even going to USE it.” “You can’t have your own business, you just don’t have the business mindset.” “You won’t be able to afford the change, what about your current financial commitments?” Balance those skeptics by having a support network.

Learn how to just ignore them. Don’t allow skeptics and pessimists to draw your attention away from your goal. There is no shame to rethink and switch things up. It could be a real intimidating decision. But it is never too late to start. If you have confidence in your abilities, the skills and experience to back it up, you will be well on your way to successfully entering an exciting new career in the field you absolutely love.

My Story

For me, I took the decision of changing careers 6 years ago, when I decided to move to the human resources field after spending 7 years in the computer engineering and programming field. I had the idea in my head for like few years, but things started to get more serious when I came to read the book Never Say Never by Phyllis George. It is really inspiring and enlightening, including real live cases concerning being flexible in career life.

Switching Careers (Part 1)

Deciding to change careers is not an uncommon choice.  Many career experts say that a typical person will change jobs at least 13 times during his working life. People usually think of changing their careers due to chasing their life dream, emerging interest in a new evolving field, seeing a successful example (a relative, a neighbor, a friend, a celebrity… etc.), or mismatched expectations of the current job (outcome from the job, declining industry, increased level of stress, looking for more challenge… etc.).

Making the Decision

First you need to distinguish between a job and a career. Some people hate their jobs (occupations, employment) but love their career. This article is targeting people who think that it is not the problem of the current job, but rather a whole career/function.

Second, you have to understand what turns you off currently. Imagine if you have all the money, what would you be doing? Ask yourself, are you happy to be supervised by a manager? Or do you enjoy working on your own?  Do you have the talent of leading other people? What hours are you willing to work? How do you cope with stress? Are you creative? Are you organized? Does helping others make you happy? Do you like techy stuff? Handcrafts? Is just moving to another job, not changing the whole careers, a solution? Open your mind to various possibilities, but be realistic.

Third, having all on paper can help to visualize matters. Make a list of all the things you would strive to achieve with a new career. Write down all of your interests and hobbies, remember, you should have a career that is both interesting to you and makes you excited about going to work each day. The new career should naturally match your personality, lifestyle, interests, talents, beliefs and values.

Review Your Current Financial Situation

Since starting a new career may encounter having you unemployed for some time, especially when you are starting a new business, it is crucial to be financially secure. How much does it cost, on a monthly and annual basis, to support your current standard of living? Are you willing to lower your standard so that you can take a job that pays less? It takes a great deal of courage to do something your heart desires at the cost of some financial loss. Distinguish between your wants and your needs. Go for it if this will make you happy. If you are not financially secure enough, you need to save/budget for however long you think it’ll take to find a job in your new career, then start the switching. To make due in the meantime, you’ll have to either remain at your current job or find a short-term job that will help support you while you find a job in your career field.

Career/Talent Assessment

When you want to change career ask yourself one question do I know what I want to be? If the answer is NO, then you need to start with a career/talent assessment. If the answer is YES, you still may be surprised to know that you are not suited for your dream career at all. Rather than finding this out the hard way and being forced to make another career switch, you can undergo a career and talent assessments.

We are all born with lots of natural talents. As we grow up, progress with studying, change jobs, our interests and talents keep changing. Career/talent assessments will help you to discover what your hidden natural and developed talents are, and what type of jobs that can fit them. Look for a professional career consultant or a specialized institution. Online assessment surveys such as The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS), Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and Holland Self-Directed Search, can be of good benefit too.

You should be aware of the skills that can be transferred from one job to another, transferrable skills, that can help you market yourself. For example, the ability to learn, ability to meet deadlines, being a team player, communicating and dealing with the public, researching skills, negotiating skills, computer experience and adaptability to change.

Professionalism at Work

Maintaining professionalism is all about adopting the right kind of attitude. If you want to achieve success in the corporate world, you should look like a true professional. Making the transition from the classroom to the workplace can be challenging and intimidating. In addition to the information and skills you learned in the classroom, there is more to know when it comes to how to become a professional. In your first professional job, it can be difficult to know what your employer expects from you on a day-to-day basis. There’s a certain code of behavior that’s expected by most employers, and your adherence is key to being a successful employee for your company. The more you practice it, the better you get at it, and the more successful you will be. The following are some tips to help you become more professional at the workplace:

Keep an Impeccable Appearance

Pay special attention to your image. Always be presentable valuing a good impression. Always check the dress code or policy of your company and stick to it. Do not show up at work with a sloppily clothes and/or, with uncombed hair. Professionals are polished, well groomed, with clean, pressed, not too tight or not too loose clothing. Professionals dress appropriately for the situation, adhere to the dress code, and they follow good hygiene practices. This will help you look more confident and project a positive impression.

Care about Yourself, Care about Your Job

Being healthy does not mean taking care of your body only, but also your mind and spirit. The more strong and healthy the better you will be at your job. Eat and sleep well. Keep a good posture while sitting or standing. Exercise regularly for a more energetic life and a higher self-esteem.

Always be on Time

One of the most important ways to maintain professionalism in the workplace is to arrive on time and to respect other colleagues or customers time. A good practice is to arrive 10 minutes early, whether it’s about going to the office, attending a business event or meeting with a customer.

Know the Policies of your Company

It’s important to review your company’s policies on all of these issues, and don’t be afraid to ask your manager or human resources department if anything is not clear for you. Sticking to company rules is a must and can be difficult at first, but when you are knowledgeable about your company’s expectations, your professionalism in the workplace will show up.

Stay Work-Focused

Do not indulge yourself in office gossip. Gossiping in the workplace shows you are not fully committed to your job. Gossiping about someone will show that you gossip about others too. Also avoid discussing personal matters at work this will waste your actual work time and interrupt your schedule. Making personal phone calls while at work is sometimes necessary, but keep them to a minimum. If at all possible, conduct your personal affairs during your personal time, for instance, during lunch hour. It’s legitimate to make friends, interact socially in the workplace, and act silly with your friends at work, but only after you are off the clock or within breaks. Remember, you need to be productive.

Stand to Your Commitments

Whenever you are committed to task or a goal, whether to your manager, subordinates, colleagues, or customers, keep it. In case you won’t be able to meet a deadline, you should manage expectations up front by letting them know as soon as possible, giving them the right justification with the new expected time to have the job done. Professionals don’t hold themselves accountable for their work commitments only, but also for their thoughts, words, and actions.

Own up to Mistakes

If you made a mistake, own up to it. Any of us can make mistakes. Do not make excuses or blame it on coworkers. Instead, focus on finding solutions and meeting expectations as best as you can, and on making the situation right. Admitting your mistakes doesn’t put you down. In fact, such professional attitude enhances your image even more. Your boss will appreciate the heads up and the fact you are trying to fix the situation. However, always be ready to learn from your mistakes so that you can deliver better the next time.

Relate to Others

Know the distinctive capabilities of other employees. Refer to their ideas, their opinions and patents by giving them the right credit. Train yourself to delegate out-of-your-scope work to others and get them to take responsibility for their outputs.

Be Emotionally Intelligent

One of the greatest difficulties in a workplace is developing work relationships with colleagues and customers who may have different backgrounds, opinions, viewpoints, politics, religions or work styles than you. Developing such relationships would involve arising some emotion at some point. To become a professional you must handle your emotions with intelligence. You might have a disagreement with a coworker or a customer, or there can be incidents on the job, a weird look, a teasing remark or a negative feedback, that may trigger your anger or dissatisfaction. You do not want to act like an immature child, it is natural to feel angry, however, that does not mean that you can act out on that anger. Figure out how to, promptly, calmly, and listening actively, discuss this with the appropriate party, avoiding fights, shouts and endless debates simply let it go and focus on your work.

Represent the Organization

Whenever you are, wherever you are, your company considers you an ambassador of it. Be ready to explain to others the company’s mission, its unique accomplishments, and your role in that company. Know your company products and/or services. Also read about its social and environmental responsibilities. Always conduct yourself with pride, thought, dignity and commitment as an employee in that company. You should mind your words, opinions and comments when in public, especially in social media. You should clearly differentiate between your relationship to that company and your own personal opinions and comments.

Respect Rivals

A good sign of professionalism is not to get aggressive when you are talking about competitors. It simply signals bad attitude. Even when a competitor is a part of a discussion, you should refrain of talking bad about them and avoid any clashes. Just focus on showing how your products and/or services are better than others. This shows you are a true professional and have enough confidence in your company and the products it offers.

Be Courteous to Everyone

Be kind, polite and considerate to everyone you come into contact with, no matter what their role is, and no matter how you’re feeling, looking at everyone in the workplace in the same manner. Respect should be shown to all colleagues including elderly, junior or inexperienced colleagues, as well as those with special needs. Show up to all with a smile and make sure that you praise and appreciate their good work.

 Specialized Knowledge

A professional is an expert who is master in a specific field. It is true that not all areas demand extensive knowledge to practice successfully; and not all professionals have top degrees in their field. What matters, though, is that these professionals have worked in a serious, thoughtful and sustained way to master the specialized knowledge needed to succeed in their fields; and that they keep this knowledge up-to-date, so that they can continue to deliver the best work possible. However, it is highly recommended when appropriate, that the professional knowledge is supported by degrees and certifications that serve as the foundation of this knowledge.

Have Complete Signatures on E-mails

Having signatures on e-mails are very professional. They should contain your full name, as known internally in the company, your job title, your work phone and Fax, your organization/department, your office working hours, break times, and weekend days (when working in a multinational environment).

 Manage your Out-of-office Time

Most companies offer personal off time as paid vacation days, sick leaves, and other types of leaves. The leave policy and leave request procedures differs from company to another, this is why it is important that that you read carefully the procedure within your first days on the job. In some companies it is mandated that you give a certain amount of notice before taking a vacation, even if optional, it is still appreciated to notify your supervisor prior your leave. Not only leaves, but even if you are unable to make a shift or will be late. In case of emergency personal or sick leavers, when you are unable to notify your supervisor prior, it is important to have your manager notified as soon as you can. Doing so helps your supervisor ensure there is an adequate coverage during your absence. Before leaving your office, you should ensure that you delegate all important tasks or responsibilities to your coverage peer. An Out-of-office message should be prepared on voice mail and e-mail, it should contain:

  • Your name, your organization/department.
  • Your emergency contact.
  • Delegated peer(s) contacts.
  • The date when you will return back to office.

From these traits above, professionals are the kind of colleagues, managers, subordinates that others respect and value. They are an added value to their companies. They are the first to be nominated for promotions, and awarded valuable projects and key client accounts. They are by nature successful in their careers. If you think that you are still somehow far from that status, start now and train yourself to earn a professional reputation in the workplace.