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What is professionalism?

What is professionalism? This article takes a quick look at what it means to be professional in the workplace, and how to build your skills.
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© CQUniversity 2021

What is professionalism?

Some of the attributes that define professionalism include honesty and integrity, accountability and reliability, self-regulation and respectfulness, appropriate appearance, competency in their role, solutions (not excuses) focused, and specialised knowledge in their field of work.

Others are sensitive to your professionalism, as it is often interpreted as a representation of the entire team or organisation.

Think about a bad experience you have had as a customer – how likely are you to share that story (and the name of the organisation)? And yet, that was possibly only one person out of so many who created that experience. It is the same with your behaviour and appearance – it speaks volumes to others about you and your organisation.

Becoming more professional

Build your expertise If you aren’t continually looking to develop your skills, you are going backwards! The world is moving too fast to stand still.
Develop social and emotional intelligence Be aware of yourself and others.
Manage and meet the expectations of those around you, honour your commitments Excuses only make you look unprofessional and unreliable.
Be polite and courteous Regardless of how you are feeling. Put a smile on your face even when talking on the phone, as it comes through in your tone. Be conscious of how your conversations (and volume) affect those around you – and adjust to that. Keep the music down, or better yet use headphones if you need noise to work
Be prepared and adaptable Comply with policies and codes of conduct. Most professions have their own codes of conduct which you should comply with, as do many workplaces. Think about what you are being paid to do – does that involve Facebook or personal phone calls? If not, keep usage to break times. Depending on your role, usage can be a distraction through to a danger (particularly if you are not aware of what is happening around you)

Please watch the following short video on professionalism in the workplace:

For more information, take a look at this video, hosted on YouTube.

© CQUniversity 2021
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Business Etiquette: Master Communication and Soft Skills

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