iStock 62286568

The Key to Professionalism

The first step to grooming a Professional is to uncover the key to Professionalism. Merriam-Websters Dictionary defines Professionalism as - having or showing the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.
The problem
There are two main issues we can identify at this stage
Students do not even have an idea that they can or even need to read up on Professionalism. They are excited about demonstrating their domain understanding and do not think of much else.
There is no defined set of behaviors that when demonstrated will guarantee that one can master Professionalism. Different experts focus on different aspects, some on integrity and punctuality related issues while others focus on respecting others and being humble. It follows then, that different Organizations and bosses look for different things too.
The Key
Is professionalism for students then a mystery? The key to this quandary is to change the way we look at professionalism. It is not a concept fixed in time and space; it is in fact something you build over a period of time. Professionalism is actually a habit rather than a goal.
Do we really have to work on it constantly? Well yes! The law of gravity works here as well. If you are not working actively to go up, you are actually going down.
The Way
Professionalism is the art of constantly learning about oneself and working on all the different facets that come together to make success. How does one learn about oneself when everything we do seems normal to us?
The one way that will give objective feedback on almost all parameters that matter is getting feedback from people who interact with the student on a regular people. As we discussed in the Why is a new Professional still Unprofessional; introducing the 360 degree Feedback system will help students significantly.
The Benefits
1. Professionals are evaluated on Performance & Behavior; Students on the other hand are only assessed on Knowledge. Introducing 360 degree Feedback shows them there is more to success than just Knowing
2. It will make the Students aware of the expected behavior from them and also where they stand now. This gives them the time and direction that they need to develop themselves in
3. Students are not used to receiving comments on how they behave. Receiving Feedback for the first time can be tough. Introducing 360 degree Feedback in college prepares them psychologically to receive feedback.
4. Introspection & Development as a habit gets cultivated
Starting this entire process of asking for and getting feedback from significant few in their lives would enhance their self-awareness and pave way for a smoother transition from a student to that of a professional.


Leave a Comment