I spent this week in Las Vegas, taking care of family stuff and watching as people from everywhere showed signs of March Madness.
Webster defines “Mad-ness” as “the state of being mad”. Sounds pretty straight-forward, and yet none of the thousands of people flocking here for this annual ritual appear to be mad. In fact, they’re downright giddy! They come in groups, hang out all day and night, drink and eat, and generally look like they’re more happy than mad.
Funny how we use common terms to mean multiple things: mad for happy, bad for good, go for stay, yes as an exclamation. It’s no wonder that people for whom English is a second language have trouble understanding us. And it’s no wonder that many native speaking English people also are confused by the words and phrases we use.
In this era of hype-as-speak, we need to focus more on saying what we mean, and then meaning what we say. We need to be aware that our words impact others, so we should carefully watch what we say (can you really watch?). And we should make sure we use words when appropriate, and hold our tongues (have you ever really held a tongue??) when it’s proper and prudent to do so. Enough said!
My message this week is about being the person others need you to be:
“You can pretend to care, but you can't pretend to show up.” George L. Bell
How do you show your professionalism? Is it by caring about and empathizing with others, trusting others and showing them respect, being fair, and being there? People at work rely on the professionals around them to be there for them: to answer questions, give guidance, provide positive leadership, and give a helping hand. But you can’t do that if you’re not there and visible. How often have you worked with or for people who don’t interact as much as you need, or don’t come out of their office unless they need something. Remember: when you’re the professional, walk around, talk to others, ask if you can help, and let others know you’re there for them. People don’t care what you ask as long as they know you care, and while you can pretend to care, you can’t pretend to be there. Show up today and be the professional that others need you to be!