What does being professional mean to you?

We all have key values in our lives that drive us, and one of the most important to me personally is professionalism.

What does it mean?

There are many different aspects to professionalism. It does of course include being competent at your job, respecting others, turning up on time for meetings and so on. But there’s another really important aspect to it, which is around showing honesty and integrity.  And being accountable to yourself and to others for the outcomes of something, whether those outcomes are good or bad.

Where does it apply?

I’m thinking about how this applies particularly in the workplace, but of course it does apply in any aspect of your life. Being honest with yourself about how you are doing and the way you are doing it is part of being professional. Holding yourself accountable in what you do across every area of your life makes it easier to make progress in something that you want to achieve. If you don’t hold yourself accountable it will be noticed and it certainly means that people won’t rely on you. The best results usually come from those collaborative experiences where people work well together and trust each other in order to get the job done. If you are the person no-one wants to work with because you can’t be trusted then results will be harder to come by.

Being honest with yourself

During a coaching session, I’m often in the position of asking a client how they plan to get from where they are now to where they want to be. And this means they need to think honestly with themselves. They need to work out what inner resources they already have that will help them move forward along the path they want to take. But it also means they need to look for the evidence of how they’ve successfully and professionally achieved things in the past. Having high professional standards in any area of your life will serve you well.