The Importance of Professional Demeanor

Views of an IT Analyst

Mr. Jason Congleton is an IT Analyst for a top insurance companiey in America, United Healthcare. Recently he answered a series of questions on business communication in the workplace. Mr. Congleton was very helpful in explaining the importance of communication in his line of work. It is a challenge to hear of the failure of technology from co-workers.  Mr. Congleton, however, explains in detail the importance of keeping a professional demeanor.

What is your professional history (include your timeline and roles)?

“United Health Care is the only place I have worked full time since graduating from college. While I was in college, I worked all four years for the IT Department at DBU. Have been very fortunate to do something I love for almost 13 years now.”

What writing advice do you have for professional communicators?

“The biggest piece of advice I can give to professional communicators is keeping emails straightforward. Always reread your work. I with a lot of people in my company are terrible spellers. Misspelled words when emailing your boss or coworkers will not make them build confidence in you. I have a great app called Grammarly downloaded to my browser. Would highly recommend it to anyone.”

What is your one pet peeve when it comes to professional writing?

“As you probably can tell from the previous answer, it is misspelling words. Which is pretty ironic coming from a terrible speller. Can’t really explain it, just doesn’t sit well with me.”

What kind of business reports do you read and/or compose regularly?

“Basically, Diagnostic reports. We have a building that over 2,000 people work in. As you can imagine working on the WIFI can be stressful. We need to know its diagnostics at least three times a day, sometimes more. Luckily, I just analyze them, another individual composes them for me.”

What are your writing suggestions to make that type of report successful?

“This isn’t your typical business report you have probably learned about in class. The most important part of this report is the data. We already have a template where you just enter the data into it. The words and abbreviations are therefore always spelled right. The only way to mess it up is misinterpreting the data.”

What speaking advice do you have for professional communicators?

“Take more than just your required speech class. I took my required speech class for my major while in high school. When I got to college my academic advisor recommended taking an advanced version of this class. It proved to be a class I benefited most from.”

Name one thing you wish you had known about business communication prior to your professional career?

“Not to let it overwhelm you. Trust me, it is very important to understand. Don’t stress about it though. If you make a mistake in a memo or email to a superior as a young employee there most likely going to just tell you what they were expecting. You won’t get screamed at. Its what you do with there advice that makes them build confidence in you or not.”

After assessing the Burning Glass list of Baseline Skills (2016), which skills not in the top 5 would you move into the top 5…and why?

“Definitely problem-solving. Especially in a field like IT. You must think off the top of your head a lot of the time. In a world where we are so dependent on technology, every company must have top IT departments who are able to problem solve.”

What team skills do you feel young professionals need the most?

“Ability to work with one another. Too many times we get young employees that like to do everything themselves. We want them to delegate. They don’t do that. So, we must lead workshops to teach them this. Which is frustrating when in an interview they said, “I work great in groups”.”

Key Takeaways

The most important advice given by Mr. Congleton is how important working with others is. Classes at USI prepares one well for working with others. However, as he mentions above, some jobs expect employees to work well with others. Hearing this information gives one confidence this can be done. USI prepares students if they end up in a situation like this in future places of employment.

Along with that, I like how he emphasized the importance of spelling. Everyone has an issue with spelling at some point. The app Grammarly that he recommended I also downloaded. After testing it out, I do not know why colleges do not offer it to their students for free. Typing correspondences from a final paper to an email to a professor, it will help you. As Mr. Congleton stated this app will certainly help me in the workplace someday.

Jason Congleton is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University with an IT degree. After a couple of years of working, he went back and received his masters in IT from Dallas Baptist. He has been employed with United Healthcare for 13 years now. 3 years ago, he earned a 10-year accomplishment award for his work at the company. Jason resides in Plano, Texas with his wife Rene and two children Violet and Ezekiel.

What do you think?

Written by Hayden Bell

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