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In this video I want to share with you something that has really helped me along my own way to develop my own career and life. This understanding comes from one of my own mentors Steve Chandler, a popular coach, who shared with me how to develop your professional self.
If we want to be successful in our career paths then we must understand this important distinction. Without this clear understanding we’ll be doomed to a life of hardship.
Within you there are two selves that contribute to your success and failure in your professional life. Both these selves are created by our parents and society.
The first one is your social self. The social self is that part of you that likes everyone and wants to be liked by everyone. It’s the part of you that knows in order to have a better life then you must get along in society by being kind and generous. In short the social self is the part of you that likes to be social and friendly with others.
The second part of you is the professional self. The professional self is that master who is an expert in his or her field, who wants results not to be liked, and who will do whatever it takes to get the job done. The professional self is that part of you that knows when to step up your game to make things happen so you can be successful.
It’s incredibly important to have a clear distinction between these two selves. Why? Because without them your social self will sabotage your professional self every time. How many times in life have you gone into a store and someone tried to sell you something and you ended up acquiescing to their proposition, not because you needed what they were offering but rather because you didn’t want to get them upset or “hurt” them. This is the social self in play.
The salesperson is being a professional and doing their job. And you are simply being your social self. You’re a person who wants to be liked and appreciated by society. Even if you decline their offer you apologize to them letting them know how great of a presentation they did. Or you give them some positive comment so they don’t get disappointed or let down when you don’t buy their product or service.
Your social-self sabotages your professional self because your social self wants to be liked and appreciated by everyone. It doesn’t want to step on people’s toes or make them upset. It wants to be polite and kind. However, when it comes to business, and becoming a master at your own work or craft, you need to be a certain way with people. You need to be forward, willing to tell people the hard truth, and a leader who directs the action. The social self is terrified to direct the action or make bold requests from people because it wants to be liked by everyone.
One of my own mentors, Steve Chandler, gives a great example of a person who always come late into work. Let’s say there is a manager who holds a meeting for everyone in the company so everyone can get on the same page. But then within that company there is one individual, who we’ll call Bob, who always shows up late to the party. He comes in 10 minutes late, makes a lot of noise with the door, and distracts the whole focused setting that the manager just started. He apologizes and smiles at everyone for being late. The manager shows some subconscious signs of being upset and frustrated yet however, doesn’t say anything about them because he wants to be liked. Instead of asking the person why they’re late, and sharing with him how distracting he has been to the whole meeting, he says, “It’s OK.” When clearly it is not OK. Everyone is distracted now and unfocused. All the time and preparation that the manager took to get everyone on the same page to dive deep has been destroyed by Bob’s lack of caring. And the manager, because he wants Bob to appreciate and like him says, “It’s OK.” When clearly it isn’t. In fact, everyone else was disrupted by Bob coming in as well.
This is a clear example of the social self ruining the reputation of the professional self. The manager’s social self wanted to be liked and appreciated while the professional self was put on the back burner. If the professional self was in play he would’ve told Bob that it wasn’t OK to be late because it distracted everyone. Everyone else got there on time why couldn’t you. This may seem a bit to forceful to Bob’s social self however it would’ve helped the team get focused for future meetings and would’ve helped Bob’s professional self develop.
Where in your life do you see your social self come out? Where do you see it taking over in your relations with others. Are you a sales person trying to be friends with everyone yet not making any bold requests from people?
Seek out to understand where your social self is sabotaging your professional self in everyday life. Find out where the two are overlapping and create a blooming career for yourself.