Professionalism is a word embraced by many, but in all honesty demonstrated by far fewer individuals. Its Latin’s origins come from the word profess which means, “to avow before.” So the question is who are these individuals that believe themselves to be true professionals avowing before? Possibly the answer may be found within the word professional.
P – Positively proactive. Professionals demonstrate behaviors that are positive, proactive instead of negative, and reactive.
R – Respect. Through this ethic and value of respect, professionals are known and trusted within and without their respective organizations.
O – Opportunities to help others. Those who avow before understand they have a responsibility to help others whether it is to grow self-leadership skills or provide some expert advice.
F – Follow-up. No one likes to wait for un-returned phone calls or emails. Professionals make it a habit to follow-up on everything and accept responsibility when they fail to engage in that behavior.
E – Empathy. Professionals know how to be empathetic. This characteristic is a one of the signs of high emotional intelligence and a predictor for leadership success.
S – Self-confident. When individuals are self confident, they do not have to put others down at their own expense. These individuals have a high sense of balanced self-esteem and role awareness.
S – Sustainable. Professionals are truly sustainable in that they can continue forward when times become difficult. Their ethics and beliefs keep them focused.
I – Integrity. Integrity is putting your values into action; doing the right thing when no one else is looking without personal gain or benefit; and accepting a potential personal cost.
O – Optimize all interactions. This is critical because professionals do not negate the value of people. They look to see how one interaction can benefit someone else even before himself or herself.
N – Nimble. Being flexible and open to change allows these individuals to be quick on their feet and nimble to the opportunities that they encounter on a daily basis.
A – Awareness. Having a high level of awareness of themselves, the marketplace, the community and even the world helps these individuals continually stay on top of things.
L – Leadership. Last, but not least, professionals demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and even more importantly self-leadership skill. For if you cannot lead yourself, you cannot lead others.