What Does it Mean to Be a Professional?
by Barbara Fagan, President & Co-Founder
When we started Source Point Training, we were clear that we would be seen as a professional organization. As a coach through the years, I have had many opportunities to work with organizations and individuals on what it means to be a professional.
These four elements will have you be seen by those you work with and those considering working with you as a professional:
Credibility – Always delivering what you promise, when you promise it and doing this consistently.
Too many people and organizations make allowances when they over commit, have poor planning or limited resources. They don’t recognize that every time they fail to deliver in a quality way, they lose trust with those around them, as well as credibility. We have all heard of the 80–20 rule: 80% of your results come from 20% of the population.
Credibility also comes from your history. It’s the reputation that will always precede you in moving forward. People do remember all that you have done well, but will mostly remember what you did poorly. Investing time to evaluate what you can consistently produce, in a quality way, will assure your credibility moving forward.
The Source Point Training team recognizes this and therefore will never promise something we are not 100% prepared to deliver. The follow-up systems and tools we have in place assure us accurate feedback before an opportunity to build credibility is lost.
Integrity – This is very close to credibility. However, the key differences are: the way you keep your word to others, the way that you talk about others, the way that you support people and your trustworthiness. Integrity comes from a personal code of ethics that demands honesty and accountability. Some people might refer to integrity as taking the “high road;” by not allowing yourself to play win-lose with others. As professionals, integrity is evidenced by following a set code of ethics that supports whatever business you are in. It means living aligned with the values that you espouse. It means walking the talk. It means that you will only be in relationship with those who you have shared values with.
Service-Oriented – People who are regarded as true professionals are those who are service-minded. They look for the opportunities to contribute to other’s success. It means that they spend time in volunteering in their community, providing sponsorships or supporting non-profit organizations and those who can benefit from their products and services or individual contribution. Service-minded individuals see abundant opportunities to collaborate with others and are not just focused on their personal gain.
Strategic Vision – Professionals that are seen as leaders and recognized by others are committed to playing a bigger game. They have the ability to look beyond the immediate circumstances or situations in a business, and collaborate; thinking strategically about what might be possible. They are confident that whatever is occurring now can open new possibilities for the future.
Think about all the professionals that you have worked with, who have modeled these attitudes and behaviors. I will guess that you were inspired and compelled to want to continue to be in relationship with them. I would suggest that when you have had the opportunity to work with a professional organization you referred business to them and shared the value that you had experienced with others.
Our goal at Source Point Training is to be that professional learning organization working for and with you as we grow together. Thank you for taking the time to let us share with you. We look forward to new adventures in the year ahead.