Stay in Character

There are two sides to everyone, especially in regards to professional versus ‘off-the-clock’. When it comes to being a leader in the workplace, it comes in handy to remember that people are always watching which mode you’re in. According to a recent Talent article by Marshall Goldsmith, the key is to be consistent.

The major difference between professional mode and relaxed mode is being less guarded, look at it like weekdays versus weekends. According to the article, your mojo is at risk when you make the switch between the two modes, especially when you don’t make everyone aware of it.

An example includes a certain executive who was the perfect top-talent specimen by day, rarely made any mistakes at all. But by night, after a few drinks, she would become cynical and sarcastic. Her remarks weren’t retold by co-workers with the same humor so they just seemed like angry comments. This behavior had to change. The line between her perfect professional mode and her relaxed mode crossed at an inappropriate intersection.

“Avoid operating in relaxed mode. Assume people are always paying attention and that you, a top executive, need to be a consistent role model as a leader.” To be a truly great leader, she would have to close the gap between her professional and relaxed selves, if only to eliminate the confusion over which was really her.

The transition from professional to relaxed should be reflected upon in order to understand how you slide from day to night, week to weekend. Fluidity of this transition is necessary so as not to unsettle your co-workers. Choose your role and remain consistent so people around you will never question who you are. You’re a professional. To read more about how to stay in character, click here for the full article.

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