Keys to professionalism
1. Keep their emotions in check
They do not respond to difficult situations with emotions leading the way.
They are cool under fire. Remember the saying "Never let them see you
sweat?" A pro is always in control (or looks like they are) no matter what
2. Know the answers or know where to get them
It takes a lot of guts to admit you don’t know an answer, but a professional
does not hesitate telling you they don’t know. What sets them apart is
that they follow that very question up with, "But, I’ll find out!" And they
3. Are direct in communicating with all parties
Manipulators may be successful in the short term, but when did you last
hear someone say they respected a manipulator? A pro talks straight with
all stakeholders, even when it is not pleasant. This behavior breeds trust
and you can trust a professional.
4. Listen to all input without preconceived ideas
Being open-minded allows ideas, suggestions and unsaid problems be
part of the solution. A professional knows that they don’t have all the
answers and will surround themselves with people who challenge them
and help them make the best decisions.
5. Communicate without prejudice
Each contact is important, no matter who it is from. They return calls to
a low-ranking staff member with the same courtesy they do an influential
community leader. Human beings are important; positions are not.