Saturday, December 5, 2015

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Professionalism

High professionalism is a crucial characteristic to influence organizational culture.

People are the most invaluable asset but also the weakest link in any organization today, the collective mindsets and behaviors shape corporate culture, and a company's culture helps define what a company is like. What it means to be part of the company, how to act in the company, what others in the company believe and strive for even how others see the company - the business brand. Therefore, high professionalism is a crucial characteristic to influence organizational culture. And it doesn’t mean if you had a profession, you would be automatically a well-respected professional with professionalism. An online dictionary defines “professionalism is the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” So here are three questions to assess a person’s professionalism.

Do you have the consistency of thought, words, behaviors, advice, and how you treat others, and so on? High-professionalism means authenticity. Nobody is perfect, we all have strength and weakness, focus or preference, but being professional doesn’t mean to just put on a poker face at the work. Being authentic means being true to that in every aspect: thinking, saying and doing. If this standard is internalized, then it should guide behavior. If it is not internalized but being implemented anyway, and one's thoughts and beliefs are not in consonance with this standard, then the individual's behavior will not be true to that standard, it will not be genuine. This dissonance will eventually become apparent. Being consistent during the good and tough moments is difficult for leaders as they advance in their career, but it directly impact leadership effectiveness, being authentic means that you have a clear vision and coherent thought to lead forward even the time flow. Leadership consistency helps to drive a positive culture which encouraging people to focus on who they are and pursue the purpose discovery, autonomy, and mastery.

Are you part of solutions, or part of problems of unprofessionalism? The great culture catalyzes positive mind, attitude, and behaviors; but discourage the negativity and unprofessionalism. Unprofessionalism can take on so many forms, from backbiting to rumor mongering; from negative bullying to psychological abusing, from office politics to unhealthy competition. Bullying is not just the loud obnoxious aggression, but it can also be subtle disrespect given to someone's ideas or efforts, especially when it causes undue harm to someone perceived value in doing their job. It is worth clarifying that the scale of the failure is in the eyes of the victim; today’s managers that grew in a competitive (either positive or negative) social environment, riding on waves of pressure, playing political smartness, may miss signs of suffering in their teams if they are not adequately focused. At the conversations about culture, we need to remember that it is the policies, procedures, rewards and retributions that drive and groom advanced mind and good behavior and it is the employee behavior that expresses "culture." Different employees may have a different expectation for the work they do and the workplace they go, but overall speaking, The right people with high professionalism make a positive influence on corporate culture and bring the wisdom to the workplace.

Do you have the soundness of judgment to make the right decisions?  Today’s digital business is more dynamic and complex than ever, today’s digital professionals shouldn’t just be an order taker only, even you are not at the formal leadership position, you need to master at critical thinking, independent thinking, and analytics to make a sound judgment or wise decisions. Many people do wrong things, not because of ignorance, but because of poor judgment, due to the lack of comprehensive knowledge or insight, bias, or preconceived notions. So what are the root causes to make professionals lack of true professionalism in this regard? Do they lack independent thinking or critical reasoning? Do they think "too fast" without necessary "thinking slowly"? Do they focus too many trivial details, with ignorance of the big picture? Or do workplaces today lack the set of policies and participles to encourage people behavior professionally? Wisdom is to be understood within this context.

As the old saying goes, the rumor stops at a wise person. High professionalism is an important quality for today’s multigenerational, multicultural and multidevicing workforce, and it is a foundation to bring wisdom in the workplace which often means positive atmosphere, growth mindsets, intellectual stimulation, culture of learning, open-minded leadership, and collaborative & professional working relationship to both unleash employees’ potential and drive organizational maturity seamlessly.


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