Why Do We Act a Certain Way at Work?

Have you ever wondered why some people behave so poorly at work, and cause you to question if they are suitable for the work environment? Well in my career, I have often been challenged with using the term Professional Maturity. While I truly believe it is most fitting of an exhibition of underdeveloped social work skills, there are cases in which your maturity can be tested, like when your co-worker becomes your boss, or your colleague gets the promotion you were vying for. These circumstances can impact you no matter how old or experienced you are in your career. So clearly maturity is more than a matter of age; maturity is a matter of how you treat yourself and others around you. So, with so many challenges in the workplace, why is professional immaturity only considered a young professionals’ issue and not addressed for its long-term impacts?

Professional Immaturity

Often in the work environment there is a need to establish boundaries, to help maintain the lines of communication but to also keep professionalism centered in your work role. Half the battle of self-improvement is having the courage to address your weaknesses at work and in your personal life. Anything you do that forces you to be more intentional in terms of your professional behavior is always an upgrade against regressing backwards towards less productive and unmeaningful actions. There are several attitudes in work that can differentiate your behaviors from mature to immature, and being aware of these attributes can be beneficial to your interpersonal development. They include but are not limited to:

  • Procrastination: following the unnatural routines, delaying tasks and have a lazy frame of reference quite often.
  • Critical Thinking and Decision Making- Mature professionals are smart enough to analyze the things in deep before making a final firm decision.
  • Patience- Professionals wait for things after giving their utmost effort to make it happen for them while others may be prone to recklessness in their decisions and quite often feel bored and exhausted after putting in some futile effort.
  • Punctuality- Strictly adhering to their timings and finish their tasks within a pre-defined time module while others are lazy in their approach and procrastinate their routine.
  • Discipline- Professional who display maturity, maintain a strict life schedule for work and a casual schedule for leisure time have a sense of disciplined performance in their tasks and they strive for the excellence while others may not.

Mentoring and Coaching Towards Professional Maturity

As mentioned in previous posts, solutions and strategies that we provide to mentees should be direct, straightforward, and simple to implement. In this regard, I think it’s important that we all reflect on where we were at a point in our careers and how those incorrect judgements can be damaging and detrimental no matter what age we receive the feedback. So perhaps use of the simple definition is a place to start and guide others. Just by ones’ awareness of the following may go a long way, knowing that “the definition of Professional Maturity states that Professional Maturity is the ability to respect other people’s diversified cultural backgrounds and unique set of experiences in the workplace. Judgment should be based on mutual consensus supported with facts, rather than emotions and instincts.” Finally, sharing the six states of professional maturity can act as a guide to continue to mentor individuals to find their pace within a race to become the best person they intend to be will include:

  1. Working towards having impeccable character;
  2. Demonstrating you are a consummate professional;
  3. Having a mature heart;
  4. Utilizing skilled hands;
  5. Consistently seeking to be a better you; and
  6. Remaining a passionate fighter about the things you believe in.

A Final Thought

Part of professional maturity is being able to assess your current strengths, determine areas that you need to improve, and set goals for the future. Keep the future in mind and let it inform the choices you are making about your life right now. Do not give others the opportunity to judge you; be your own personal judge and jury on how to behave, how to build relationships, and how to manage those interpersonal skills. These lessons will take you far in the long run.

If you or your organization would like to find out more about adult mentoring opportunities, and how a mentoring program can help bridge the gaps experienced from missing employee engagement please reach out and connect with us at Coley & Associates, we are here to help move your organization forward, and we are passionate about what we do and committed to making a positive difference in our customers’ businesses and the world around us.