The term “professionalism” means many things, depending on the situation. So what does professionalism actually mean? Is it the number of degrees you hold, your job title, or certifications? How about your dress, or the way you present yourself and resolve conflicts? It can be all of these. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines professionalism as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person”; and it defines a profession as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.”
These definitions imply that professionalism encompasses a number of different attributes. At Employee Development Systems, we have worked with thousands of employees on defining and increasing professional presence for each organization. There are some components of professionalism that are customized to your organization, such as alignment with corporate culture. But by and large, professionalism is not the number of degrees you hold. Our programs help people understand their current level of professionalism, and how they can better understand where they currently stand, and how to increase their professionalism in the workplace.
Here are some of the main attributes of professional presence. How do your team members measure up against this list? Use these as markers for where you can start to develop your workforce and increase productivity.
Competency Being reliable, keeping promises, standing up to tough situations, and focusing on solutions versus making excuses.
Integrity Keeping promises, being trustworthy, and doing the right thing, even when it requires tough choices.
Specialized Knowledge Making a personal commitment to assessing current knowledge and planning ways to develop and improve in lacking areas.
Self-Accountability & Regulation Holding themselves accountable, not only for their own responses and actions but also the results of the projects they are working on and anything they are responsible for. Staying professional under pressure.
Positive Image Wearing appropriately professional clothing and present an equally professional demeanor. An overall positive image results in gaining respect and building confidence.
Organizational Skills Professionalism is displayed in demeanor and competence. It’s also shown in the ability to organize oneself and work. What does your work space say about you?
Learning to increase professional presence in a casual world includes taking ownership for daily choices, having a firm grasp of how choices impact results, and knowing how values encourage particular choices. At EDSI, we help attendees identify behaviors that need changing, enhance personal effectiveness, take ownership for personal behaviors, and increase accountability for awareness about behaviors.
Attendees learn active listening, managing themselves for success, and learning the difference between aggressive and assertive behavior, amongst other core skills the increase professional presence and ultimately, productivity and performance.
At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call firstname.lastname@example.org | 800-282-3374