A professional is somebody who has characteristics conforming to the practical or ethical standards of his/her profession. Therefore, professional behavior refers to the conduct, attitude, and values that should be possessed by such a person. These behaviors develop with time and experience. Professional behaviors are not inborn and thus must be cultivated and carefully natured during one’s development process so that today’s academician can develop into a future professional. The best method used to nature these behaviors is usually mentorship. Having a mentor early in one’s career affects the way it develops. These behaviors include dependability, professional presentation, initiative, empathy, cooperation, organization, clinical reasoning, supervisory process, verbal communication, and written communication.
Empathy is a professional behavior that usually demonstrates one’s concern for others and respect for the ideas and opinions of others when making ethical decisions about health care. Cooperating with other fellow professionals usually shows respect for their independence and leads to a better conclusion for the clients. Clinical reasoning on the other hand is a conduct that is vital in solving moral problems. This requires the professional to have the ability to gather and interpret information and analyze it as well as come up with potential solutions to various circumstances. Organization is another behavior that requires one to use organizational skills, to contribute to the development of others, time management to meet clients’ needs and organizational requirements as well as prioritizing one’s tasks.
Verbal communication, written communication, and the supervisory process are professional behaviors that relate to the moral principles of reality, fidelity, confidentiality, and privacy. They all create and maintain a trusting association with clients and co-workers. Being dependable is in between the standards of beneficence and faithfulness. Faithfulness or fidelity implies that the professionals should keep promises and meet the expectations of clients as well as be competent in what they do.
Professional presentation and displaying a positive attitude towards clients and co-workers guarantee them that as professionals, we care about the relationship and well-being of those to whom we provide services. A professional’s positive attitude gives the clients a sense of trust in the one’s competence to provide services that will benefit them. The professional behavior of being initiative is etched in the moral principles of beneficence and the concern for doing the best and perfect job that one can do for his clients.
These behaviors are well-natured right from one’s early academic years. It is important to put others’ needs in front of one’s personal interests as it makes others feel appreciated. Learning how to demonstrate humanistic values like honesty and integrity, care and compassion, respect for others, and trustworthiness. These values provide the foundation for actions and guidance for decisions and thus give the professional confidence and purpose and ensure that the choices made by him are based upon what he believes. Accountability is another behavior that is important to learn. It means being responsible for actions and choices made. It also implies that one should be able to hold co-workers accountable. Learning to be honest to ourselves as well as to our personal strengths and weaknesses helps professionals achieve their best.
Early development of professional behavior is important as it ensures the provision of quality services to clients. It also helps one to effectively market oneself, conduct research while keeping tabs with legal, political, ethical, social, and economic environments. Even though most of them are developed early in one’s career, coming up with one’s principles and morals comes in handy when identifying moral problems and in making sound decisions in one’s profession. These behaviors are the vehicle through which professionals act upon or implement ethical principles.