Professionalism

How you look, talk, write, act and work reveal your professionalism or lack thereof.

Society does not emphasize the importance of professionalism, so people tend to believe that amateur work is normal. Many businesses accept less-than-great results.

Schools graduate students who cannot read. You can miss 15 per cent of the driving-test answers and still get a driver’s license. “Just getting by” is an attitude many people accept. However, this is the attitude of amateurs.

In running a practice, the difference between top producing offices and lower end ones is often this missed internal marketing point: professionalism. It should be in evidence from front to back in everything you and your staff do.

POP QUIZ ON PROFESSIONALISM

Just for fun, take the following quiz and see where there might be room for improvement. Put a tick in the box with the truer statement for you.

[] A professional learns every aspect of the job.

[] An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.

[] A professional looks, speaks and dresses like a professional.

[] An amateur is sloppy in appearance and speech.

[] A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. 

[] An amateur assumes what others need and want.

[] A professional keeps his or her work area clean and orderly.

[] An amateur has a messy, confused or dirty work area. 

[] A professional is focused and clear-headed.

[] An amateur is confused and distracted.

[] A professional does not let mistakes slide by.

[] An amateur ignores or hides mistakes.

[] A professional jumps into difficult assignments.

[] An amateur tries to get out of difficult work.

[] A professional completes projects as soon as possible.

[] An amateur is surrounded by unfinished work.

[] A professional remains level-headed and optimistic.

[] An amateur gets upset and assumes the worst.

[] A professional handles money and accounts very carefully.

[] An amateur is sloppy with money or accounts. 

[] A professional faces up to other people’s upsets and problems.

[] An amateur avoids others’ problems.

[] A professional uses higher emotional tones: enthusiasm, cheerfulness interest, contentment.

[] An amateur uses lower emotional tones: anger, hostility, resentment, fear, victim.

[] A professional persists until the objective is achieved.

[] An amateur gives up at the first opportunity.

[] A professional produces more than expected.

[] An amateur produces just enough to get by.

[] A professional produces a high-quality product or service.

[] An amateur produces a medium-to-low quality product or service.

[] A professional earns high pay.

[] An amateur earns low pay and feels it’s unfair.

[] A professional has a promising future.

[] An amateur has an uncertain future.

End of quiz.

If you ticked all the blue boxes, your professionalism is true-blue and perfect. If you have one or more red boxes, it simply means that you have room to improve. The first step to total professionalism is to DECIDE to do it and then fix the points that need work.

Have fun with this!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to The Art of Management Inc. and a clickable link back to this page.

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