Hi, my name is Melissa Ryan and I am the lead coach for The Golden Ratio team (FTC #12682). This is my fourth year as an FTC coach and I love seeing how FIRST improves the confidence and skills of all students. My topic today is the importance of behaving like a professional. Professionalism extends to every aspect of life and work. Professionalism and respect starts with you and starts early. You CAN stand out in a crowd, on your team, in your classroom or clubs, and open doors of opportunity for yourself through your actions no matter what your age.
Getting people to take you seriously and notice your talents and potential begins with your own attitude because people are usually going to see you through your own lens. How do you treat yourself and what kind of “mind food” do you eat? It’s true, just like programming a robot, Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO). I encourage you all to be your best self every day by starting your day off positively through some of these ideas:
- Input Humor, Inspiration, and Learning Each Day (Ideas: Listen to comedians in the morning, listen to TED talks in the morning, YouTube Motivational Channels)
- Pray for a positive spirit or for a learning experience to bless you that day
- Write down your blessings from yesterday
- Eliminate Toxic People and Environments from your daily interactions.
- Dress like you intend to be taken seriously and professionally.
- Be a light in the room not a downer or energy drainer
- Don’t gossip about others, if you have been offended by someone speak with them directly and politely, perhaps there has been a misunderstanding.
- Don’t over promise something. But, when you do make a commitment to get tasks done be sure you actually DO IT by the deadline so you become known as a person that can be trusted and relied upon.
- Reply to emails, texts, and group chats from your coaches, mentors and project members to show them respect and you’ll get respect in return. When someone has to keep reminding you to respond to a project discussion or complete a task you come off as immature and irresponsible. Remember, you may want a recommendation or a job from one of these people someday and your reputation will precede you.
Will Durant once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Everything you do repeatedly forms a good or bad habit. Therefore:
- Are you a gossiper or an encourager?
- Are you an excuse maker or a change maker on your team or in your classes?
- Are you a diplomat or a divider of people?
- Do you take ownership of excellence in your work or just do enough to get by?
The more you work out the muscles of excellence and goodness the stronger and more noticeable they will become to others. The more you practice negativeness and excuse making the easier that will become too. Hence:
- Eliminate Victim Mentality
- Look Ahead Not Behind
- Stop Making Excuses
- Be Dependable, Trustworthy, and Responsible (Take Ownership)
- Acknowledge Failures but Reach for Success
- Advocate for Yourself and Control Your Narrative
- Act Like a Winner and You’ll Become One
- Have grit. Grit is the perseverance to keep on going to reach a goal even when it gets difficult. It’s viewing failure as a learning experience not a stop sign.
This blog was written by Melissa from FTC Team Golden Ratio Robotics (FTC 12682). If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!