Professionalism, Customs & Courtesies, and Tact: 14 Leadership Traits in USMC

Categories: Leadership

Professionalism, customs & courtesies, and tact are all factors that can create an effective and stable work environment or break it completely. In today's current political climate, it is important to recognize that there is a time and place for every action we partake in at the workplace as it is a direct reflection to those around us as to what kind of person we are. Being respectful at work and minding our “P’s & Q’s” so to speak will create relationships at work that will lead to success and professionalism which will in turn mold you into a more wanted employee.

This also applies outside of work with friends and family alike. Credibility is generally surrounded by such aspects and is improved as they improve as well.

Professionalism is a key part to being a more useful part of any workforce. According to The Chron, “Conflicts are less likely to arise in a professional business environment. Workers who respect each others' boundaries and conduct themselves professionally rarely have disagreements that cannot be resolved efficiently.

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”to summarize this states that as long as co-workers are respectful to one another and maintain that boundary of consideration to everyone, issues that occur between them may be resolved quickly and with ease. That being said consideration for everyone when making decisions that could affect them in a non-productive way can cause disruption to workflow. At the same time, in order to keep things professional, if disagreement does occur it is important to keep things professional and respectful and maintain that barrier of decorum between everyone and keep things peaceful.

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In today's society, words spoken can destroy a whole career which is why it's important to keep in mind who is in ear-shot of the conversations you’re having and the result it could lead to if you say the wrong thing. In essence, remaining professional at all times is 10/10 a good idea and shows good character traits.

Courtesies are a very important quality to display and are absolutely necessary in any kind of serious environment that requires you to keep respectful and give proper approbation to those senior to you. In an article, written by Emily Newman where she discusses the effects of business etiquette , she states, “Polite behaviour and decorum are a must – the rules are unwritten and apply to social situations and workplace relationships. In the workplace, especially, business etiquette includes working professionally, maintain proper manners and engage with co-workers in a spirit of cooperation and respect.”, the piece was posted in an attempt to enlighten people on the importance of how you act when people are looking and listening, it goes on to state, “Failure to indulge in and practice good business etiquette will inevitably put stumbling blocks in the path to success. No one likes to work with or be associated with unpleasant people – hence a company and its people that don’t practice business etiquette will soon be shunned. Considerate people and those attentive to the needs of others are able to forge stronger business relationships, which are extremely crucial to survive in the business world.’ However, it does not stop there because those same courtesies that you present to your superiors should be expressed to people who are of the same and under you. In all aspects couth and maturity should be shown to everyone you come into contact with. Once again doing this shows what type of character you have. Customs in the Marine corps have always been an outstanding display of tradition and dedication to our cause. In an article posted to, a quote from Senator Paul H. Douglas stated: 'Those of us who have had the privilege of serving in the Marine Corps value our experience as among the most precious of our lives. The fellowship of shared hardships and dangers in a worthy cause creates a close bond of comradeship. It is the basic reason for the cohesiveness of Marines and for the pride we have in our corps and our loyalty to each other.' From paying respects when we salute colors and officers, to having the youngest marine at the marine corps ball cut the cake, it all has meaning behind it. Loyalty and pride have built the Marine corps to become on of the most respected and loathed services to be a part of.

Tact is one of the eleven leadership traits that every Marine is expected to have in order to be successful. As defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary tact is a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense. What this is saying is when approaching certain people/situations with certain situations it is important to remain cautious with the way you about approaching them. This is important because certain situations that present themselves require specific care. In situation between leaders and subordinates tact is also a two way street. It is expected of a subordinate to be tactful when approaching higher ranking members, but it is also expected of the superior to be tactful for the reason being that respect goes both ways. This is especially important in any work environment because when around others it is especially important to maintain that example in order for others to emulate it.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that we are all human and not machines and that we do make mistakes. However, professionalism, customs, courtesies, and tact are all principles that are valuable to keep. They will help excel your career and mold you into a more revered worker. The same is applied into outside life with family, friends, etc. As they will see you in a more respectable light.


  1. Scott, Sherrie. “The Importance of Professionalism in Business.” Small Business -,, 7 Mar. 2019,
  2. Newman, Emily. “Importance of Business Etiquette.” Yonyx, 16 June 2015,
  3. Powers, Rod. “All About Marine Corps Customs and Traditions.” The Balance Careers, The Balance Careers, 26 July 2018,
  4. “Tact.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,
Updated: Feb 18, 2024
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Professionalism, Customs & Courtesies, and Tact: 14 Leadership Traits in USMC. (2024, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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