Leadership, Engaging Employees & Listening

It has been noticed in the past and still continues, the lax taken on “professionalism”. What was considered “professionalism” and what many consider “professionals” today are quite different. How would you define “Professional”? Respectful, honest, experienced, polite, courteous, well dressed, neat/clean appearance, having good grammar and etiquette, follows a formal protocol, etc.? How many “professionals” do you know who fit that prescription? We worked with one financial investment client, where all employees used the “four-letter” words multiple times in each sentence, showing no respect to whomever was around. Is that really necessary?

Has our “professional businesses” stooped so low as to act more like beer brawling bars? More of the young professionals have been discouraged by how their superiors behave. Many years ago I went with a group of business people from different industries on a day-trip to make an effort to talk with our local legislators and encourage support for the local business owners. Most travelers behaved fairly well traveling to the event, but on our return trip, many of those people overindulged in adult beverages, and some older execs actually encouraged the younger ones to consume even more. I remember asking myself, “and these are our successful business leaders”? Not all of the seasoned executives behaved this way, but no one stepped up to stop the behavior.

How do your company execs behave away from the office? Better yet, how do they behave IN the office?


Certain professional organizations and venues in Charlotte have done a VERY good job of providing top quality Leadership Forums in order to develop, grow, and enhance credible professionals and executives. For those who have missed these, that is “a real loss”. Not only do these professional organizations create and organize excellent topics and speakers, but they also include leading Human Resources Professionals, who are interested in being more of an asset in their field and industry. There is always something to learn, and the speakers today encourage audience participation, where additional good points are shared.

Human Resources is one area of business, which is constantly being given additional and unique issues involving new trends, or complicated legalities. Dealing with the “human factor” can require being more sensitive or facing volatile situations, or even unpredictable factors.

In recent times businesses and organizations are finding that many of their leaders are either not a fit for such a responsible role, or they have not received effective training for the position. Some employees do not trust their leaders or lack confidence in them. Leaders need to learn to LISTEN.

Another discussion needing creative resolutions is how to engage employees. Instead of managers/leaders appearing like “dictators” to their employees, much better results come from proactive efforts to encourage and inspire employees. This approach actually engages employees to be much more productive and successful in their positions. Again, leaders need to show they care.

Still, another worthwhile and beneficial topic would be how to use strategic expressions in order to create in the minds of others how to think, process and relay a response that would be more effective, resulting in improved or more clearly articulated explanations or answers. With more careful thought, a professional could propose a question that could help the candidate deliver a more appropriate and complete response. Good Communication requires a person to focus before speaking.

From past observations, a Professional Leadership Forum, kicked off by a professional executive, who shares very insightful data, could stimulate the audience and prepare them for the well selected, key speakers. Only a few Professional and Business Executive venues are in a league for providing qualified, continued support of professionalism. Our Business Community needs “professionalism”.

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