Business, Eclectic Musings

What Is Professionalism?

October 2, 2013

What exactly is professionalism? Well, here’s what professionalism means to me:

  • You know your stuff. You have mastered your craft or, if you are a journeyman (still learning), you are serious about learning.
  • You listen carefully. You are focused on my business need (product or service). You are alert, smart, and resourceful in the way you supply that product or provide that service.
  • You are on time. My time is valuable to me. Your time should be valuable to you. Assets of value deserve to be treated with respect.
  • You present yourself professionally. You are dressed appropriately for the product or service you provide. You don’t need to be a fashion plate but it should be clear you made an effort to look presentable – i.e., you are neat and clean.
  • You are honest. I want to trust the people I do business with.
  • You are reliable. Integrity is important. If you say you’ll do something, I want to count on you doing it. I know glitches and snafus happen. That’s okay – just keep me updated.
  • You instill confidence. If I hire you to perform a service, I want to feel I’m in good hands.
  • You are courteous. I may sound a bit British here, but courtesy also means you are polite without being familiar.
  • You are pleasant. Brash, irresponsible, sarcastic people are compelling and amusing characters – in books and movies. But they are also the kinds of people you’d avoid in business situations. I like doing business with nice people. I think most other people do too.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Tom Cullen October 4, 2013 at

    I really like how succinct and clear your position is. I’d like to share this with a few special people.

    When I saw your title I was reminded of material I read decades ago about the down side of professionalism in areas of human service…where there might be motives at work by professionals to maintain clients in their vulnerable status (needy, eligible for service, necessary for my career and my mortgage payments). It’s a different question, of course, but I thought I’d share a different association with the P-word.

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