What does it mean, TO YOU, to be professional?

I'm working on training materials for my company and I need to build something around the concept of professionalism.

I'd love input from the community on what 'being a professional' means to you personally. I'm not looking for official codes of ethics etc, but rather the parameters that you would use to describe someone as being professional or not-professional. Or even how you evaluate yourself?

At my company we mostly focus on one thing - whether someone consistently meets their commitments. This covers submitting work on time, being punctual etc.

It would be great to hear other perspectives...

 

Results and Ethics

To me, being a professional means delivering results with an ethical mindset.  As with anything that broad, if you want to lawyer it you can squeeze into all sorts of grey areas in the middle there, but if you can look yourself in the mirror in the evening and say "I delivered results today and did so in an ethical manner", then you're almost certainly golden.

Professional Mindset

 Great question and good response.  My opinion is tempered by my background as a career Air Force Officer, educated at the Air Force Academy in the 1970's during a time of great national unrest and transition.  

Professionalism is doing the right thing despite...  It is demonstrating a set of values that is consistent to your calling.  Professionals are called to their work and commit themselves to a higher principle of behaviour that is often above personal gain and satisfaction. Professionals act consistently to offer service and value to those they serve.  They may not always deliver the results that may be desired by those they wish to serve(curing a fatal disease, delivering world peace, winning your case in court).  They do deliver according to the contract, in a way that respects those being served, and with consistent application of their practice.  Professionals do not take vows of poverty, nor do they attempt to extract unfair advantage from those they serve.  Professional is not a job - it is indeed a mindset.

Your Frame of Reference

I think that the question itself needs to be re-framed.

You cannot BE a professional any more than you can BE a slacker.  Professionalism is a value judgment on the overall character of a person and is completely useless as a developmental metric.  You are looking to develop your staff aren't you?  

Focus on BEHAVIORS!  A person can exhibit professional/unprofessional behaviors.  I would develop training materials carefully focusing on the BEHAVIORS I deem as being professional.  Don't be loose with your definitions....it really does matter.

Regards,

A

Professional Behaviors

1) You manage your temper. I'm not saying you're never pissed, but you direct it appropriately.

2) You manage your language. Swearing, cursing, and blaspheming? Really? You're how old?

3) You manage your results. On-time, on-budget, according to scope and quality parameters.

4) You manage your skill set. You know your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths benefit those around you; your weaknesses don't handicap them.

5) You're honest, tactful, kind and appreciative.