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Posted on: Mar 19, 2021

Professionalism in the Middle of March Madness

By Joan E. Champagne, White & Champagne

There are some who would read the title of this post and exclaim, “Well, isn’t that ironic?” Luckily, I surround myself with very forgiving people. My desire to improve my professionalism is what drove me to join the IndyBar Professionalism Committee several years ago. 

As we know, the idea behind “March Madness,” besides the creation of a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket, is that anything can happen in a matchup, and it usually does. In these trying pandemic times, we are going through a March Madness of our own. Each day brings a new surprise, a new crisis and we can’t predict the outcome. We’re all careening toward the weekend, and no one’s shooting three pointers.

It’s a struggle to maintain a sense of professionalism during this March Madness. One way to cope during the tumult is by extending grace to others, accepting their grace, and giving grace to ourselves. 

Extending grace to others: Resist the urge to respond in kind in the face of rudeness, unreasonable expectations and uncooperativeness. As we know, that usually causes the situation to escalate, so you’re doing yourself and the other person a favor by avoiding a reactionary retort. Also, become a MENTOR (this actually belongs in the extending grace AND giving grace to ourselves category, because in my mentoring experiences, I give my time and advice, yet I learn so much from my mentees).

Accepting grace from others: When our actions are less than dignified, and the other person responds with calm repose, apologize and thank the other person for their response.

Giving grace to ourselves: Schedule alone time during the day to recharge; intentionally connect with a person, place or thing that brings happiness; vent to a therapist, trusted colleague or friend. 

And speaking of professionalism, the IndyBar is getting in on March Madness in the Circle City as it hosts Indiana Sports Corp employees and volunteers during the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. Throughout the tournament, the IndyBar Education Center will be used as the organization’s volunteer hub, where staff and volunteers will attend to needs from players and teams in an effort to keep competitors within the tournament’s COVID-19 protective bubble.

I strive to practice what I preach. I appreciate the support of my law partner, Tess White, my fellow IndyBar members and every colleague who has offered grace and guidance (despite my behavior). Stay safe and well and good luck on those brackets!


If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Professionalism Committee, please email Kara Sikorski at ksikorski@indybar.org.

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