What is true professionalism, and the importance of the quality in the business setting? The bottom line is, it’s a quality that is required to expect and achieve success from any business, be it small or large. Everyone has come into contact with a business transaction that involved some sort of unprofessional action along with it, be it for a business transaction or personal. How did you handle it? Did you retaliate with hostility and anger, or keep your composure? I think we’re all guilty of losing our cool at least once with these types of incidents. We’re human, it happens.
With all the aforementioned, what entails with good business professionalism? In my experience, the main key points are:
- Encouraging personal and professional growth in yourself and others
- Full accountability and transparency
- Conflict resolution management
I want to stress that these are my personal opinions, and each CEO, manager, supervisor, etc. all have their own person opinions for this quality as each job/career requires a different set of skills. However I’d like to take a deeper look into each one I listed.
Professional boundaries is something I learned about during my time in the nursing field, and was stressed very hard while I was in school. It was stressed to us at the time that a boundary breach was define as:
Any action or behavior in a nurse-client relationship that personally benefits the nurse at the expense of the client is a boundary violation. — Wikipedia
Taking a look at that from a business perspective, it’s essentially the same as well. While nursing is more built around morals, I see no reason why business couldn’t be either. Yeah, there are a few bad apples, but I surely don’t plan to be one myself.
Encouraging personal and professional growth
This one goes hand-in-hand with good leadership skills, in my opinion. The two most important qualities in a leader, in my opinion, should be someone with the ability to coach effectively, and to use empathy in all decisions made. It has been my experience that someone in a leadership position that doesn’t have those two leadership qualities, is just someone who gets paid more than you by simply telling you what the problem is and not offering any suggestions or advice on how to fix the problem, and basically saying it’s your problem to figure it out. If you can find a way allow either the client or yourself to grow personally, professionally, or both…I consider it a job well done.
Full accountability and transparency
There are many skills that entail with accountability and transparency. However the two that stands out to me the most is communication and the ability to change. While you can clearly over communicate, in some instances it’s better to over communicate than under communicate. How does this tie into transparency? Simple. With the communication given, hiding information leads to very bad consequences. There is always a tactful option to get your point across. For example, if a customer orders a product that you already know to be defective in some way, it’s better to alert the customer ahead of time, carefully laying a plan to rectify the situation. Once the product arrives, the plan can be put into place and you’ll also earn the trust (and possibly really good review ratings) from your customer. On the flip side, if you just wait until the customers receives the defective item, two things can happen:
- The customer receives the items, and instantly writes a bad review in reference to the quality of the item. The customer is upset, calls customer service in efforts to resolve the issue, however at this point the customer will most likely also be angry, and upset at the very least. The customer’s experience is already damaged.
- The customer is irate, demands a refund, and gives you a negative review anyway. The customer has a terrible experience, the customer-service rep has a terrible experience, and you lost a customer and future profits and severed relationship ties not only with this customer, but possibly more.
This is just one example of many possible scenarios.
This quality also ties into the previous one, however respect is the backbone of any successful business. To have happy, productive employees, the janitor needs to have the same respect as the CEO. Everyone has a job to do, and without someone doing that job, it doesn’t get done and in turn drops overall productivity. Ultimately, the bottom line is hurt by a lack of happiness and loss in production.
Conflict resolution management
Incidents happen all the time. When conflict arises within personal or professional situations, are you equipped to resolve them with a productive outcome? This one is something I continue to learn and struggle with at times. With each experience, and each passing day, I learn more and more. Nevertheless, this quality and skill is something that some individuals make careers out of, as it’s not exactly the easiest, especially when it’s happening to you. The anger, disappointment, frustration, and other emotions tend to cloud our judgement. When you’re on the outside looking in, it’s much easier to quickly identify the problem, and make a resolution to the issue. This is probably one of the most lucrative skills, as it sometimes requires a quick response time.
In conclusion, I want to make known these are just my opinions on the skills/qualities, and the quality of professionalism as well.