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Aug 27, 2018

“Sometimes we take the professional label and try to be perfect. We try to hide our emotions, feelings, imperfections… where we’re struggling… This is a misunderstanding of what professionalism is.”

In this episode of Women in the Business Arena, Sonya and Laura explore the balance of professionalism and authenticity. So often, we let fear of losing credibility, oversharing, or the pressure of perfectionism determine how authentic we are with clients and coworkers. This is one side of the coin.

On the other, while it is valuable to be authentic with who we are regardless of the situation, it is still crucial to recognize the responsibility we have to discern how much is appropriate to share in each context. We can be authentic, without burdening those around us.  

“If you have a ‘good fit’ target market, they’re going to resonate with who you are. As long as you are responsible with yourself, being transparent about your lifestyle and your balance will resonate with your market.”

A good rule to follow is to make sure you have processed a life situation, before using it with a client. You also have to determine your personal motivation in telling any story. With clients, personal information should only be given for the benefit of the client in mind.

It is important to recognize that there will always be those who judge you, regarding your professionalism. Our society is quick to be critical of those around us. However, we have the responsibility to shift the paradigm. Be confident in your imperfections, and be authentic in the way you relate to coworkers and clients. As you lead the way, others will follow.

“When you are fully confident in your choices when you recognize that you get to define what is professional for you, you stop caring what other people think.”

It can be very difficult to avoid dual relationships, especially when working within a smaller community. Dual relationships can be damaging in both the professional and personal context. It is not impossible to navigate a dual relationship of a friendship and a business partnership. Sonya and Laura share their personal experience, and give insights they gained through their own partnership.

“Self-awareness leads to self-responsibility.”

Some Topics we talk about in this episode:

  • Introduction - 0:56
  • Being Professionally Responsible vs. Being Authentic - 5:38
  • Mindful Vulnerability - 19:40
  • Transparency Will Bring Judgement - 25:12
  • Professionalism and “Masks” - 31:12
  • Navigating Professionalism in Dual Relationships - 38:12
  • Wrap-up and Takeaways - 48:45


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