What makes someone stand out as being ‘professional’?

Here are some observations from recent encounters

The calm professional doing his job: meeting difficulties whilst still maintaining the dignity of one in control. 

I refer to an employee of Greater Anglia on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line.  Moving efficiently down the carriages checking tickets, he quietly requested travellers to turn down their music.  There was no lofty put down, no accusation; just a quiet request to think about the comfort of fellow passengers.  Then a quick move on, commanding respect with a quiet, “I’m not going to stand and argue the point or even ensure you do as your told, I expect you will because I believe that you respect others” attitude.  Which they did.

The journey was not without difficulties resulting in a couple of delays.  These were quietly explained and we were kept informed including adjusted times for our ETA.  A courtesy not often displayed perhaps. I’m glad that I got the chance to thank him for a safe and pleasurable journey.

The people who care and love what they are doing. 

I popped into an attractive looking coffee cum ice-cream place, just for a cup of tea.  However the promise of hot buttered toast clearly marketed at the top of the cheerful menus placed on each table did its work, and I spent a small amount not for tea and toast but for the experience of friendly service in cheerful and relaxed surroundings.  Top marks ladies for caring about those extra details that made ‘a quick cuppa’ into a pleasant visit with that ‘at home’ feeling; “come round for a cup of tea, a snack and a chat.”  Everyone welcome.

The confident ease and creativity that only comes with experience.

My hairdresser.  His profession is his life and he has the experience of mastering his art over the years.  It may have been 6 months since my last visit, but he can pick up where we left off remembering to ask me ‘how are you?’ and listening to my answer.  His tools are his trade and he cares for them.  His ‘office’ is bright and welcoming and staff are trained well to clean, tidy, answer calls and manage the environment to the standard he requires.  I call because I need a haircut; I receive not just a beautiful style but an uplifting chat, friendly camaraderie, and I leave feeling like a million dollars!

What makes professionalism?  Hard work, natural talent, care and attention to detail and common courtesy.

Thank you to all your professionals out there.  You do not go unnoticed.


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