Disruptive or Destructive? Don’t Lose Sight of Professionalism

I recently listened to a “disrupting” speaker, whom I found insightful and thought-provoking. However, despite the riveting program, I couldn’t shake the tone of some of the attention-grabbing commentary. This expert in his field continuously insulted those in the helping profession. “Who needs a therapist?” he queried and “What the heck is a life coach, anyway?” “These industries are *&^%!”

Yikes. I can’t even. 

This unprofessional approach of putting others down to lift one up that’s used to garner leverage, attention, and or business, always turns me sour. This also reminded me of an author and speaker that I’d asked to speak at an event years ago. Much to my surprise, this speaker used the same style of attention-grabbing lead in of insulting others in order to sway listeners to his guaranteed business-building approach. My face still flushes at the memory. I was both stunned and embarrassed that he would insult the attendees in a bizarre way of trying to secure their business. Add to the negative guest feedback, I remind, the speaker was there to inspire—not sell. I should have vetted this “shock jock” better. Lesson learned.

We are all human and have done this ourselves—albeit probably not to this level.

I often wonder why we do this. Why do we have to stoop so low and not spend our energies focusing on what we do best? Why is it our nature to think of ourselves better than others? And why are there those who tread on others to get to the top?

I’m certain you’ve shared these very same thoughts once or twice before. Perhaps, they popped in mind when a co-worker took credit for something you did, or when someone carelessly tossed you an insult. It happens. We’ve all done it. We’re human. 

But that is no excuse. 

We should all strive to avoid this approach in our personal endeavors and never should we employ it in business. It’s simply unprofessional.

I love disruption. That exciting challenging of expectations and the archaic ways of thinking and doing. Yet sometimes I am slow to get on board. But I also know that if we don’t disrupt and make changes, then we will miss out on making things better for all of us, our community, our neighbors and those in need.

Positive disruption comes with a healthy helping of professionalism—challenging ourselves, others and stalwart ways of thinking while respecting others and being inclusive and supportive. 

That’s what I always thought. 

Here’s wishing I was perfect, but here’s to embracing our imperfections with grace and honor along with a healthy dose of professionalism, kindness and respect for everyone—no matter how disruptive they may be. 

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