Life is all about learning. Some lessons are not so hard. Some lessons..sock it to you.
I am constantly amazed at how maturity comes in to play as I approach learning new skills and take on new responsbilities. And, I mean.. there are two kinds of maturity, right?
One being “Mature” by age.. and the other ..what I label.. emotional maturity.
Now.. I have the first definition of Mature down. I am not ashamed or embarrassed by my years. Rather, I’m grateful. They have helped shape .. my Emotional Maturity.
How does this relate to being a Paid, Professional, Nudge?
Early on in my career.. I had no cares.. whatsoever on how my work impacted others around me. I was solely focused on looking good and making sure the boss was ok. I didn’t care about whose feelings I hurt or how my attitude impacted those around me.
I also was not as punctual, honest nor as hard-working. I felt the work world was my oyster. and who the hell cared?.. as long as everyone liked me…… It didn’t take long for that shine to wear right off!
One of the best pieces of advice my first female boss gave me was to cut back on my coffee intake. Now.. some of my friends and colleagues now would say that I never headed that advice. They are mistaken.
But, it wasn’t what she said.. It was the delivery. It was her workplace approach and sage maturity that made me (all 23 years old) stop and think. Hmmmm. She might have something there. And, she most certainly did.
Her advice, her approach to her staff and her dress all were SO professional and the utmost in professional. She didn’t take sides with staff (all women.. poor lady!) and she never corrected you in front of peers. Instead, she would pull staff into her office and very clearly without rancor– approach the subject of whatever area that required improvement or a different approach. Her patience with Junior staff was amazing. When I reflect back on it now.. I realize just how much I learned.. purely by her example. And..I’m surprised she put up with me!
Several months ago.. she retired from the same institution that I had once worked at in Baltimore. I called her not long before her retirement and we chatted about how much our lives had changed. I had stayed in touch with her for more than a decade.
Now, I am in a leadership role. I realize how important it is for me to set the example. To communicate appropriately and patiently… to really demonstrate the key facets of professionalism in dress, behaviour, work product, punctuality and courtesy.. and respect.
By no means am I considered a stodgy type (except to my kid!).. but my ” Maturity” has allowed me to see the value of my age and workforce experience… to put things in perspective and help me try to be a respectable leader.. by Example.
And that..is something we all can continue to learn and share with our peers.