Frankly, I have been reticent in posting such a blog. Actually I am quite timid. But I have had an increasing number of emails, conversations, and my own work experiences that I am finally motivated to write on this sensitive subject, professionalism.
Being a professional, I have found, has as many definitions and standard as there are those who claim to be professional. A professional is one who is engaged in a job that requires special education, training, or skill and often must conform ethical and technical standards as part of their work, of course. But being a professional is much more than that. Professionals conduct their work in a courteous, conscientious, and “what is good for business” manner.
Too often I see “professionals” come to work late, want to slide on conduct, choose to have little regard for standards, insist on their way, and show little consideration for their colleagues. These “professionals” demand attention, expect service from others, and have no reason to express gratitude…it is expected by them and to them because they are “professional.” Yet they demand respect and loyalty from others. I totally disagree with such behavior.
Recently an organizational leader lamented to me an incident in his office. He had prepared an educational series to cover a two month period of time. His colleagues insisted on a video series instead. The video series was procured, but after watching, the colleagues did not like it. What? The colleagues insisted on something that they were not familiar? My friend was led to believe that the material was known to them, that it is was already previewed. So now it was back to the original educational series to scramble to prepare. Where was the accountability and trust on behalf of the two colleagues…the professionalism?
Being a professional is knowing your work exceptionally well and consistently learning to excel. It is communicating with your colleagues and with those that you serve. Yes! Professionals are serving others, a physician and nurse serve patients. A pharmacist serves patrons in a retail setting and serves nursing in a hospital. An attorney serves his client; a pastor, rabbi, or priest serves his flock. Professionals serve. Even a professional star athlete is serving; he practices to perform well, to entertain you the viewer.
I do not think we say thank you enough. Say thank you to your colleagues, to your leaders, and to your customers. Always attempt to keep a smile on your face, not always easy, I know. But you must try. Help your peers in a kind way and you will find that they in turn will help you.
So after reading this and you are being reflective, and are looking how I might grow to be better…you indeed are a highly regarded professional.
Should your thoughts be; this is not me, all of this written here is meant for the other person. Or worse, you think this is not relevant and I only want to do my job. I am sorry, but you need to do some self-evaluation of yourself as being a true professional.