Thursday, August 6, 2009

Are You a Pro? 4 Signs

Entrepreneur Chick has had the very good fortune to be dealing with a whole lot of pros. One of my clients, who is a national entity who's name you would immediately recognize, happens to have the best people working for them that I have EVER encountered in one company before. Though they have very many locations, I still see this same continuity in each and every one.

Any business is only as good as this one thing: It's people!

The following 4 signs of professionalism I have observed firsthand during these past two weeks after several business meetings with this privately held company's upper management. They are:

(1) Fastidious - the trait of being meticulous. In short, these people are on top of what's going on. They're involved in every level of their company and aware when things are functioning smoothly and when they're not.

(2) Excellent listeners- Part of what I've been doing this week is training the upper management of this company, to successfully implement my company's proven strategies for optimum results. Each time I address them with my presentation, everyone is paying attention (except for John, ha.) listening intently, following the presentation and asking pertinent questions at the end. Let me be very frank with you. Listening is the most excellent skill you can develop in your personal life and your professional life. If you are always in the habit of not letting someone finish sentences and always "telling your story- oh yeah, that reminds me... blah, blah, blah", no one will really want to be around you. Why? You are not valuing them at all. You are not valuing them as you are not listening. When people feel not listened to, they'll politely engage in conversation with you, until they can make an appropriate exit. This hurts your friendships and I can assure you, will hurt your cash flow.

(3) Personable not "Personal"- Being personable denotes that one is easy to approach and is easy to speak with. Which is a good thing. I've heard many staff complain before that a boss was not "approachable" and this employee felt as if she could not communicate- which ultimately, hurt her and the company she was working with.

These people I'm referring to are personable. "How was your weekend?" "How's your day going?" And they'll tell you about their favorite football team or their upcoming vacations plans or where they're from originally or the name of their children or dogs or how long they've been married and what their spouse does.

"Personal" is telling more than someone needs to know. I was interviewing a man for a position with me a few months ago when he launched into a story about his ex wife. Oh dear lord. I'm sorry she hurt you, I truly am, but now is NOT the time to tell me about that. In fact, it's NEVER the time to tell me about that. That's too personal and I am not your buddy. I am your employer.

(4) Seeks to Understand the "Why"- they're not about, well- I don't care. I'll still get paid regardless of externals working or not. Uh... no you won't. Oh, you might for a bit, but unless you understand cause and effect; particularly if the effect is negative and you don't do anything about it, you're not being a pro. Figure everything out to the best of your ability. Analyze to the best of your ability, and when that falls short, make sure to call in people smarter and better than you are. A pro finds out why. A pro digs deeper. A pro doesn't hesitate to enlist people with higher skill sets than themselves to get a job done.

And remember, look 'em straight in the eye, and have a firm handshake!

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