There are three key elements to professionalism. Attitude, ability an appearance.
Your attitude refers to the way you think, believe and behave towards someone or something. It is developed over time and is influenced by your values, your knowledge, life experiences and moral or ethical beliefs.
Your attitude can influence your behavior and your perception of reality, people and places.
Your attitude influences the behaviour of others.
A professional is noticeably positive and confident. They understand the value of their role and how they impact others. They are perceptive and observe their environment before making judgements. This enables them to act proactively.
A touch of emotional intelligence.
Professionals are self-aware and keep their emotions in check. They read the emotions of others before acting on theirs. They adapt to changes in the working environment without drastically changing their behavior. This is useful when dealing with different personalities and helps to defuse conflict between colleagues and customers.
Professionals try to solve problems before it happens by removing obstacles in a work environment that could cause conflict later. E.g. Allocating team roles to match skills; encouraging teams to solve problems on their own.
The professional is someone that others turn to in times of crisis because of their calm demeanor and readiness to take charge while keeping their composure.
Your ability is the skills, knowledge and experience that the you amass over time. This is coupled with aptitude which is your natural talent.
Natural talent is not sufficient to thrive in a challenging work environment, you need to continuously build on your skills to remain competitive, employable and marketable.
Many employees lack the foresight to develop themselves. They stay in their position for long periods of time and falsely believe that they are in their comfort zone. This lack of ambition ultimately decreases their value in the workplace. The reality is that while they are making themselves comfortable, an opportunity arises for someone else, with fresh ideas and skills, to shine and this could threaten the safety of their jobs.
Here are some useful tips to improve your abilities:
Professionals never say “That is not in my job description”. They will go the extra mile for customers. This benefits all the stakeholders associated with the business.