I once had a state supreme court judge as a patient. He dressed like I thought a judge should…… three-piece suit, creased pants, shined shoes, starched shirt and tie. He never spoke a rude or uncomplimentary word and never called me anything but doctor. I called him judge. He demanded that respect. To me, he was a professional’s professional.
Today’s current events rekindled my memory of the judge and gave me a moment to posit what professionalism is and should be.
This is what I think (in no order of importance, since they all are).
Requiring appropriate knowledge is a given.
A professional is one who dresses smartly, does a good job and makes a personal commitment to develop and improve skills
A professional is reliable, trustworthy, keeps promises and makes no excuses.
A professional is honest, humble, never compromises values and does best to make difficult situations right.
A professional listens and is willing to learn from others.
A professional shows respect for others, maintains a calm demeanor, honors commitment, keeps promises.
A professional is polite and kind.
A professional does not use demeaning language and never criticizes in front of others.
A professional never makes excuses.
A professional takes responsibility and is accountable for their actions
A professional is humble.
As I wrote this, I thought of a professor at a graduate school who once said, “We need a course on professionalism in our school.”
If you must teach professionalism in a graduate school, then you have selected the wrong students.
Professionalism and its values are learned, hopefully, long before that…at home, in early childhood, in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups, sports teams,classrooms, etc.
Where has professionalism gone? Where is it in our society? Where are our leaders with professionalism?
Where is that judge?