7 Ways To Improve Your Professionalism

Professionalism is not just a trait; it’s an art form that can dramatically elevate both individual and organizational success. At Giant Leap Consulting, we offer an entire professionalism workshop that highlights the following 7 characteristics. These key areas are not just concepts; they are practical tools designed to elevate your and your company’s professionalism to new heights.

7 C’s to Develop Your Professionalism

character and professionalism

1. Character

It begins with our identity and how we carry ourselves. Professionalism is fundamentally defined by one’s character.

Integrity stands out as a pivotal component of professional character applicable to individuals in various roles—be it leaders, employees, or clients. Much like well-constructed bridges, individuals with high integrity possess a complete set of commendable character traits. They consistently exhibit honesty and ethical behavior in all their interactions, not only when it’s convenient or under scrutiny. True integrity is evident when there is a strong alignment between the values one professes and their actual conduct.

Always bear in mind: that the true measure of your integrity is revealed in your actions when no one is observing.

2. Caring

Do you demonstrate a genuine commitment to your work? Go-getters, the top-performing and typically most professional employees, actively engage in understanding the strategy and direction of their work. They willingly tackle challenging tasks, take ownership of their career paths, and proactively seek opportunities for growth. These individuals continuously strive to acquire new skills and capabilities, aiming to provide enhanced value. Their aspirations include success not only for themselves but also for their teammates. In essence, go-getters genuinely care—they are deeply invested!

3. Clothing

Be mindful of your professional demeanor. How you present yourself physically, including your attire, hairstyle, and overall tidiness, undoubtedly leaves an impression on both the individuals you encounter and those you collaborate with. A professional appearance not only reflects your own standards but also conveys consideration for others, demonstrating a genuine desire to prevent any potential discomfort.

4. Customer Service

An indicator of professionalism lies in how individuals handle their customers. Surpassing customer expectations ought to be an integral aspect of any company’s mission statement. Exceptional customer service is rooted in the establishment of strong relationships. Here are some pointers for cultivating these connections:

  • Make friends with clients. There’s an old saying, “Get a customer, make some money. Make a friend, make a fortune.”
  • When entertaining, know what you can and can’t do from an ethical standpoint.
  • Learn and acknowledge birthdays. Send people birthday cards.
  • Send handwritten thank-you notes. Mailed, not emailed.

5. Communication

The manner and content of your communication play a significant role in determining whether you are perceived as a genuine professional.

Before your initial meeting with a client, lay the groundwork for effective and amicable communication. Conduct thorough research on the individual—utilize Google and LinkedIn to gather as much information as possible. Establish a positive first impression by maintaining direct eye contact, offering a firm handshake, and repeating their name enough to commit it to memory. Avoid immediately delving into business discussions; instead, inquire about their hobbies, passions, or interests to initiate the conversation.

communication and professionalism

6. Composure

Composure is the mature handling of stress, demonstrating a level-headed approach to pressure. In times of conflict, it’s crucial to recognize that there are three perspectives: my side, the other person’s side, and a middle ground that incorporates elements from both sides. More often than not, this middle ground represents the truth.

The capacity to courageously maintain composure amid conflict stands as a significant indicator of professionalism.

7. Commitment

Commitment is an essential aspect of professionalism. It entails upholding professional standards even when it’s tempting or more convenient not to do so. In client interactions, express your commitment by promptly following up after meetings to summarize the outcomes and reaffirm your dedication to the agreed-upon action items. This demonstrates conscientiousness and active engagement.

Whether you are an employee or a leader, the onus is on YOU to make a commitment to elevate your performance!

How will you decide to devote yourself to the 7 Cs? Shift your focus to professionalism and you’ll notice how others perceive you and, more significantly, how you perceive your own professionalism.

Photos by Christina Morillo and fauxels on Pexels.

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