What is a professional mask?
A professional mask is the mask that many people put on when they walk through the workplace door. Regardless of whether it is an office, a store or another type of premises, it is that change that we make when we set foot in the place where we work.
Why was the professional mask created?
Within companies, people have always been encouraged to behave in a professional manner, leaving behind personal traits and quirks. There has always been a desire to separate the professional from the personal, to put on that mask when we arrive at work and force ourselves to stop being who we are and behave differently, professionally.
This mask is very clearly reflected in dress codes. The jacket suits and ties that have dominated companies were the symbol that you did your job well, that you were professional and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t your style, or that it was uncomfortable to wear for so many hours. It was simply a professional mask to be worn.
How does that professional mask manifest itself?
Dress codes, as we have said, are a form of professional mask and another way to put it on is by defining the physical location of each person in the office according to their professional status. A clear example is that having your own office was something that gave you security and power over the rest.
Traditionally, the definition of being professional, and therefore another form of mask at work, was not showing your feelings or talking about them, leaving them at home. If someone had personal problems, they should forget about them, perhaps even hide them and leave them at home.
Why are we still in that system that requires us to wear a mask at work? Why is work still so impersonal? When we talk about the balance or reconciliation between work and private life, does our life go one way and our work another?
Teal companies, companies without masks
Teal organizations are characterized, above all, for being organizations where people have a lot of self-management. Another of its fundamental pillars is the contentness of the people who make up the company and that is achieved when they remove their professional mask. In this type of organization there is no fear of talking about our feelings, how we are; we are ourselves without holding back.
However, when we reach this point where the personal and professional aspects are not separated, we must be consistent and know that not everything goes. That is, we must be faithful to our principles just as we are in our personal lives: we cannot expect to succeed at any price. In this way we will be able to be authentic and faithful to ourselves.
Being able to take off our professional mask allows us to reach that completeness that is sought in Teal companies. It allows us to be authentic, build confidence in our colleagues and in ourselves; we can be calm and relaxed in our work because we don’t have to follow unwritten protocols about how to speak or how to behave. This way of working allows us to develop professionally and personally at work, something that is very important because, in the end, a job that does not fulfill us or in which we do not feel fulfilled will be a job that we want to leave. Taking off our professional mask and being free to be ourselves is one of those priceless things.