Professional Courtesy

Professional Courtesy
Web definitions
  1. Professional courtesy refers to the understanding that people of the professions relating to human destiny would obviously sacrifice their ideals when it comes to their family members or others working in their field.

Practicing good work etiquette seems to be a lost art these days.  Forget about professional courtesy.  Employees seem to forget how to act in this social arena.  Perhaps they need a refresher course on this type of protocol.  How an individual acts behind closed doors (i.e. with home/family/friends) should really not be brought into the workplace.  It’s unnecessary and certainly not conducive to a polished work environment.

Everyone that I know of experiences work stress. It’s a given we’ll have it but how you react to it is a testament to your character.  We all face job burn out.  It’s par for the course.  Coping with stress in today’s uncertain job climate is enough to drive any American crazy.  Your emotions are contagious and if you’re in a negative mood it’ll reflect in your work and among your coworkers.  Myself, I try to keep a positive attitude each and every day.  My job is highly stressful and I’ve learn to compartmentalize my feelings. I think my years of military training and being immersed in that environment has helped to keep me in check.

Sadly though I’ve seen coworkers lose their temper, the demands of their job getting the best of themselves.  They also bring personal problems with them and it spills over into their work output and how they interact with their peers.

Thankfully my employer has flex time and I can come in as earlier as 6am and handle yesterday’s/today’s business in relative peace.  Once 9:30am hits though (the latest one can report to work without facing repercussions or having to take leave) it’s fair game.

According the the American Psychological Association (APA) American workers are one of the most stressed out populations worldwide:

Americans are known for placing great emphasis on work and career. Working hard, however, should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health. According to a 2007 nationwide poll by the American Psychological Association, three-quarters of Americans list work as a significant source of stress, with over half of those surveyed indicating that their work productivity suffered due to stress. Furthermore, almost half stated that they did not use their allotted vacation time and even considered looking for a new job because of stress. Job stress is also a concern for employers, costing U.S. businesses an estimated $300 billion per year through absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover and direct medical, legal and insurance fees.

The turnover rate for my employer is relatively low considering the comprehensive benefits package that we have along with flex time.  APA suggests managing your work stress by doing one or more of the following:

  • Know yourself. Be aware of your stress level and know what stresses you out. People experience stress in different ways. You may have a hard time concentrating or making decisions, feel angry, irritable or out of control, or experience headaches, muscle tension or a lack of energy. Learn your own stress signals.
  • Recognize how you deal with stress. Do you engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking or eating poorly to cope with your stress? Do you lose patience with your children or spouse or coworkers when you feel overwhelmed by work pressures?
  • Turn off and tune in. Communication technology can take you to productivity heights never imagined, but it can also allow work to creep into family time, dinner and vacations. Set rules for yourself, such as turning off your cell phone when you get home, or establishing certain times when you return calls. Be sure to communicate those rules to others, so you can manage their expectations. Let technology be a tool that works for you, rather than the other way around.
  • Keep a “To-Do” list. Worried that you’ll forget something important? Constantly thinking through all the things you need to get done? Clear your head and put those thoughts on paper (or in an electronic task list) by creating a list of work and personal tasks and marking those with the highest priority. Not only will you reduce the risk of forgetting something, you’ll also be better able to focus on the task at hand.
  • Take short breaks. Stay energized and productive by taking a minute or two periodically throughout the day to stand up, stretch, breathe deeply and shake off the accumulating tension. Short breaks between tasks can be particularly effective, helping you feel like you’ve wrapped up one thing before moving on to the next. Take a 10-15 minute break every few hours to recharge and avoid the temptation to work through lunch. The productivity you gain will more than make up for the time you spend on break.
  • Find healthy ways to manage stress. Work to replace unhealthy coping strategies, such as eating junk food, smoking or drinking alcohol with healthy behaviors, like exercise, meditation or talking with friends and family. Keep in mind that unhealthy behaviors develop over time and can be difficult to change. Take it slow and focus on changing one behavior at a time. Some behaviors are very difficult to change and may require the help of a licensed professional such as a psychologist.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat right, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and engage in regular physical activity. Ensure you have a healthy mind and body through activities like yoga, taking a short walk, going to the gym or playing sports that will enhance both your physical and mental health. Take regular vacations. No matter how hectic life gets, make time for yourself — even if it’s just simple things like reading a good book, listening to your favorite album or enjoying a leisurely Sunday brunch at your favorite café.
  • Ask for professional support. Accepting help from supportive friends and family can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), including online information, available counseling and referral to mental health professionals, if needed. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behavior.


Remember, you’re not alone.  Find a support group or talk to your friend and spouse about whatever workplace issues you are having. But remember this….it’s easy to complain….even harder to act but the more your procrastinate the higher your stress levels will be. Take action.

“If you are feeling unhappy in life for any reason and often getting negative results, try this -> start replacing negative thoughts with the positive one, make a plan and act on them. The more positive thoughts you have the more positive and happy your will become and results are bound to be positive sooner or later.-Subodh Gupta author “Stress Management a Holistic approach – 5 steps plan”
Subodh Gupta, Stress Management a Holistic Approach

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s