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Professional Detachment for Business Managers - Maintaining Credibility

Updated on December 17, 2017

Managers of people will often be called upon to deal with issues which potentially have emotive connotations. The decision they make can have far-reaching implications, either for their personal well-being or for that of their colleagues and subordinates, and could lead to heated debate and argument.

In such situations, they cannot afford to let their own personal feelings or motives cloud the issues. Neither can they allow other people to pressure them into particular decisions for emotional reasons, or on the grounds of self interest. Instead, they must be capable of adopting a professionally optimal decision and it must be made with reference to the best interests of the business as a whole.

A person with professional detachment will appreciate the importance of this approach and will have no hesitation in making unpopular decisions if necessary.A manager represents the company and acts as a ROLE-MODEL at all times. If, for example, a manager is socialising with employees after hours and behaves in a way inappropriate to their role, or does things that they wouldn’t normally say or do which are out of line with their role as a manager, they are putting themselves in a compromising position and would find it difficult to maintain the respect and behaviour of others thereafter.

Essential Features of Professional Detachment

  • Stands back from issues, not becoming emotionally or personally involved.
  • Is even tempered, not prone to mood swings or outbursts of temper.
  • Does not get involved in petty arguments.
  • Identifies with management.
  • Can detach from the personal interests of self and others to make professional, optimal decisions.

Behavioural Indicators

  • Will present a consistent, calm image to others: emotions are kept on an even keel; moods do not change unexpectedly.
  • When involved in discussion or argument conducts him/herself with dignity and decorum.
  • Does not make personal comments or take things personally.
  • When faced with conflict, will disregard personal interest (his/her own or the group’s), in favour of professionally optimal choices.


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