Wearing many “hats”…It’s called PROFESSIONALISM.

I have recently joined a discussion that my niece, Kaye San Gabriel, an occupational therapist in Florida, started with regards to working in a corporate atmosphere that “at the moment” seems to deflate their passion for their work. I put the quotations on at the moment because I think any company can become good or even great if they just do the necessary changes. The company, that’s another blog all together. I am writing this piece to concentrate first on the most important factor: PEOPLE.

Having been in private practice for almost 14 years, 6 years on our own (that’s with my wife), it is mind-blowing that a lot of therapist think that people are a company’s biggest asset. True in some sense, but the truth is, as what Jim Collins stated in his book, “Good to Great” : “Having the RIGHT people in the RIGHT positions are a company’s biggest asset.” Yes, it is the right people who can make my niece’s company even better. I have seen it myself in my own practice, the WRONG people will weigh you down, they will make your company run like you are dragging a big buffalo, they will destroy the atmosphere, they will destroy camaraderie, they will destroy the FUN at work, they won’t do the necessary work, they will bring the company down and run to the next one. They are all about GETTING. The RIGHT people are all about BUILDING.

So, what do these RIGHT people have? It’s called PROFESSIONALISM!!! They understand that in order to succeed and move forward, you need to demonstrate this. They know that they need to conduct themselves with the sense of responsibility, have high ethical standards, fanatical levels of integrity, are very accountable for their actions and be the best they can be at any given situation. They communicate effectively and appropriately, ( I can’t listen to someone who says one thing in front of me and one thing behind me.). They have to be team oriented, have good interpersonal skills (That’s how you deal with the right and wrong people at the same time.). They have good problem solving skills which usually translates to the ability to be productive at all times. Professionalism is a skill and behavior set. It is not defined by just one skills or behavior, it is a combination of the above qualities.

It is easy to see these right people, because they tend to stand out in the crowd. They manage time wisely. They come in dressed appropriately. They talk to their clients and colleagues clearly and politely. They work with them harmoniously. They resolve problems quickly. They do not gossip. They take responsibility for their mistakes and the corrective solution to them. They know when to take breaks. They know when to take vacations. (They are important, too..a stressed team member is an ineffective team member.) They do not usually ask for credit. (I usually try to give it before they can even ask, and if not, I show them why it has to be given later). Most of them have great lives outside the company. They are well-balanced. They are God-fearing. They work and create teams that efficiently does the job. (The reason why they don’t have to spend too much time in the company.) They basically help build the company to become greater.

Professionalism is the edge that will make a new, raw, young therapist succeed in any organization that they go to. Develop this and the path to greatness starts to get well-defined. If you want to develop this with your staff or colleagues then start with this:

1. Learn more about them. What do they want to do with their lives? (Helps you align it with company objectives.)

2 Learn the work values that are important to them.

3. Learn their passions. Learn what energizes them at work.

4. Learn their skills, abilities, and talents. (Helps you get them into the right positions.)

5. Learn what do they want to learn regardless of money, time, or other responsibilities.

6. Learn what is stopping them from achieving their goals in your company, include their own limitations.

7. Learn what things are they willing to do and commit to make things go forward at work.

There are probably more ways to develop it, but this is a start. Now go and BUILD. Transition from GOOD TO GREAT. It starts with YOU!!!

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