The Polished Professional

By Taylor Burton Published on August 23, 2023

Estimated reading time: 4 Minutes

Our "Mindful Manager" series draws to a close with some final tips on how to be a "Polished Professional." Professionalism is vital towards success in the workplace, especially if you're in a position of leadership...but what qualities define it?

Your demeanor, your actions, and even your appearance can make or break your professionalism and affect what others think of you. Discover what steps you can take to polish your presentation--and be sure to join PBI for our webcast replay, "Getting on Top of it All: The New Science of Increasing Productivity." Earn live credits while learning skills that will boost your success in your professional and personal life!


Businesswoman standing on stage and reporting for audience


Look the part. Always dress for success! Pay special attention to your appearance and always present yourself in a professional manner. Even if you're working from home and have no meetings scheduled for the day, changing out of your pajamas might give you a much-needed productivity boost. 

When in the office, make sure you're dressing smart, looking well-groomed, and following your company's dress code. Looking the part will not only make you feel good, but also garner a bit of extra respect from others. This ties directly into our next point...


Be confident. Even if you're an anxious wreck who fears the future, simply projecting the image of self-confidence can be reassuring to your team--and yourself! We can trick our minds into being more confident if a little effort is put forth. Wear your favorite outfits that make you feel powerful, stop the negative self-talk, and definitely stop comparing yourself to others.

If you'd like to project an outward sense of confidence, don't be afraid to take up space. Be aware of your posture and stand tall. Sometimes just practicing power poses in the mirror can boost your confidence--hold your head up high and put your hands on your hips. When speaking, don't talk too fast or too softly. Acknowledge that your voice deserves to be heard and speak firmly. Finally, avoid starting your sentences with "I think." Give straight, solid answers to the best of your ability. 


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Demonstrate respect and integrity. As the saying goes: give respect, get respect. Respect both your company's policies and others. You should treat all of your coworkers fairly and speak to them as fellow adults, not underlings. Avoid office politics and drama like the plague. Badmouthing others is one of the most unprofessional things you could do in the workplace. Keep it out of the office and off of social media, for good measure, since anything can be screen-captured these days. Strive for a positive environment in all things you do.

This includes respecting everyone's time as well. Be punctual for your meetings and avoid making others wait on you. If you're one of those people who is chronically late, utilize technology by setting reminders on your phone or communicating with your team or clients ahead of time.


Set the standard. A leader is a person that others look to as an example. Always keep this in mind when you're the one in charge. Set the standard by adhering to company policies and rules. Take your work seriously, demonstrate responsibility, and be open to feedback.

One of the most important things you can do when acting as an example, is bringing a positive attitude with you to work every day. We all have bad days, but outward negativity can only serve to drag others down. When at work, push aside your personal issues and focus on the task at hand. Practice having a positive outlook, even when the odds are stacked against you. Pessimism serves no one, but optimism can keep you and your teammates motivated.


startup business people group have meeting in modern bright office interior, senoir investors  and young software  developers


Etiquette matters. No matter how well you get along with your coworkers or clients, there are boundaries that shouldn't be crossed. Be tactful when choosing your words. Do not tell that off-color joke that might offend someone. Avoid curse words no matter how stressful the situation. When communicating by email, use proper grammar and punctuation. 

While a lot of these tips might seem obvious to you, there are others who could use a good reminder. Always strive for professionalism in the workplace and have confidence in yourself and your abilities!