Professionalism is a wordthat often gets bandied about when people want someone else to behave in a particular manner and
What is a professional?
deliver a certain level of service. We label certain careers as professional and we often attach salary levels to professionals.
But how can you be a professional and deliver professional service if that is one of the goals of your business?
There are three simple but not easy to do ways to always be a professional but before looking at those lets understand the word professional a little better.
According to the online dictionary, the word professional can be a noun or an adjective. Using it as an adjective it generally describes people in certain professions like doctors and lawyers and is often tied to pay rates or classifications of the area of service like a professional sport. As a noun, the word is used synonymously with expert or skilled practitioner. Practically though a professional gets paid for the service they render.
Professionalism is more than a tangible thing. True professionalism is an attitude. An attitude towards performance and service delivery.
The three ways to always be professional are:
- Always keep your word and deliver what you promised, when you promised it and with a little bit more than was expected.
- Always treat all parties with respect even when you feel that they are treating you badly. Never lower yourself to street fighting or abuse to make your point. Always maintain dignity for everyone, especially yourself. And that means always doing your best.
- Always realize that both sides have an opinion and acknowledge that the other side has their wants and needs too. Accept that you have differences and appreciate that you can only be responsible for what you do and the other person has a responsibility for what they do, say, think and feel. Changing someone else’s mind only happens by them choosing to change based on new information that allows them to rethink the situation.
If you are living to your purpose, acting with passion and committed to performing above expectations, you are a professional. You are giving your best, your expertise, your self. A professional is a real person who uses all their talents, skills, knowledge
and resources to deliver the maximum value they can to their clients. They understand that their business is about them, their client and the community in which they live. They understand that a professional is someone who goes beyond the title or role and lives their job.
And a true professional asks for help when performing becomes difficult. A true professional knows that the responsibility for their thoughts deeds and feelings lies within themselves. And a true professional knows that sometimes, you are unable to satisfy everyone.
Dress, position, salary and other quantitative or qualitative measurements are dictionary definitions for success. But since success is a journey rather than a destination, professionalism is measured internally rather than externally and only you can truly determine your own professionalism.
If professionalism is personal, how do you determine if someone you are dealing with is a professional then? Please comment on that and I will do a blog on that topic later in the week. The real business challenge is to know the answer to that question.