There are a great many “Golden Rules” available on every conceivable subject, for work, for leisure, for health and many more besides. However, here is a set for you to consider which generates enormous change for the better wherever it is used.
When we think about the meaning of professionalism, we need to consider not just our own work and relationships but we also need to think about our expectations of professionalism from those around us. Have you perhaps been disappointed by someone recently? It may be that they did not quite deliver what you needed on time, perhaps their attitude on the phone left something to be desired, or you just got the overwhelming impression that they didn’t really care? Unfortunately, it doesn’t take very long for the cumulative result of these small failures in professionalism to become quite damaging to the one thing which has the power to scupper all of our best laid plans – our reputations.
We know that people often choose to work with people they like and are more prone to making recommendations to others based on their positive experiences. Building and maintaining our reputations for excellence is, therefore, the surest way to make steady progress in any role.
Just before we get to The Golden Rules of Professionalism, it is important to mention one more magic extra ingredient. It is the one personal trait which has the potential to do most good in the workplace or in our home lives. It is empathy – the ability to understand how it might feel to be in someone else’s shoes, to experience how they might be feeling when on the receiving end of our services, our moods, our everyday personas. We cannot know precisely how someone feels but we can see for ourselves the results of our interactions with people. If we take the time to look, we may see a little more than we expected.
So here they are, The Golden Rules, which ensure that we think, behave and act in ways which make us stand out from the crowd and, wherever possible, are a positive influence on those around us. Professionalism makes a difference and makes the working world a better place to be!
The Golden Rules
•?always striving for excellence
•?being accountable and taking responsibility for your actions
•?being courteous and reliable
•?being honest, open and transparent
•?being competent and continually learning
•?always acting ethically
•?always acting honourably and with integrity
•?always treating others with respect
•?always respecting confidentiality
•?setting a good example
DESIGNERS: IN A SIDEBAR
The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. Pearl S Buck, American novelist
Excellence is not a single event, but a habit. Aristotle
“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way”. African American educator, Booker T Washington
A copy of The Golden Rules is available to download to put on your wall or share with colleagues. Just go to www.theprofessionalismgroup.co.uk/resources
Adapted from “Professionalism: the ABC for Success” by Susie Kay). Susie Kay is Founder of The Professionalism Group, an advice and consultancy organisation working with individuals, students, businesses and professional institutes, focusing on the benefits of professionalism. (www.theprofessionalismgroup.co.uk). She is a speaker and writer and is happy to run workshops within your organisation. Susie is also a qualified and registered mentor.”