Professionalism

In this new age of baring our souls and letting our customers know we are human, I’m worried we are taking it a little too far. I watched a couple of webinars over the weekend, (always trying to improve myself and learn new things) and I was appalled, (okay, maybe that is too strong a word), but I was surprised at the extreme casualness and behavior demonstrated in these supposedly professional videos, and felt it was highly inappropriate.

I’m all for opening up and getting real with people, in fact I promote it, but as a business person, I have to think that my clients are looking for a leader, not someone who curses like they might, slouches and props my feet up on the table when we are having a business conversation, who overshares about babies, husbands, boyfriends, wives, or girlfriends, brings up conflicts that are going on in my life and may in fact cause discomfort when I talk about them, rant or rave about some injustice against me, or a barrage of other information that really has no value add to the conversation. The casual Friday culture that has permeated our offices and the “get real and be authentic” directive that has been encouraged in our business culture has a time and a place and can be extremely effective and appreciated, but be careful that you don’t cross the line, and lose sight of the image and style you want to portray or share information that makes your customer feel uncomfortable or unimpressed.

There is a difference between going out with your friends and really letting your hair down and maybe getting a therapy session in the long run and a business environment that should be and can be real and authentic yet still serves a purpose and establishes some boundaries.

xo, jan