Professionalism wears many hats and we all have our own picture in mind when it comes to this particular term. Professional behaviour, professional conduct, professional level, professional development, a PROFESSION!
I am a professional - when I do what I do for a living. But to what professional level I do it - is up to my clients to decide
I am professional, therefore I am always on time
Indeed, how intriguing, so let's elaborate.
What does 'professional conduct' mean to you?
We often use this term when we are faced with terms & conditions at work or indeed when we are familiarising ourselves with the policies of the educational establishment we are part of.
We often devise our own "set of professional codes" for our peers and students to keep intact with, and share the ethos we ourselves believe in, with others - to respect.
For example, for Students and Teachers, we have introduced an online teaching contract devised by the Musicians Union (MU) that states that all students during Zoom lessons are to set their camera angles and audio levels in advance, have a tidy background to avoid any type of distraction during the online lesson, and to follow the example set by the teacher to make the most out of their precious time during the class, to indeed use that time effectively.
When joining our Teacher Training programme, every voice teacher is encouraged to follow a set of Professional Ethics for teachers also mentioned in our Ethos, such as:
- When training together as a team we encourage friendly and supportive learning environment between all teachers in training
- We value integrity, equality, empathy, positive reinforcement and honesty
- We encourage professional behaviour which inspires growth and development
- We strive upon building healthy work relationships though shared ethos and common goals
What are your thoughts on Professional Conduct? How does it fall within the line of work you are in?
Please leave your comments below
When you are a teacher, what kind of professional behaviour do you encourage, demonstrate and expect from another teacher, or a student?
When you are a student, what kind of professional behaviour do you align to, and want to see from your teacher? And what kind of professional behaviour should your fellow student or a colleague follow, if any?
Indeed there are sets of rules for both, student and teacher, and it's easier to decide - when you put yourself in the shoes of another.
Let’s review an example of an independent artist, and that independent artist is you. Let's say you are organising an event according to your own preferences, a recording session in a studio, that you are paying for - then you are primarily relying on other people to show up. You then manage your session, your time, your energies according to the resources you have available. You start recording on time and everything goes smoothly when everyone is there and all is well and nicely set up. Or you lose money if it aren't, if someone is late or indeed doesn’t show up.
Well, what if you are a cog in the machine, and you are not the one who is paying for that recording session. What if you are doing someone else a favour, and you have suddenly "more important" things to do. What if due to your own poor time management and miscalculation you find yourself unavailable. What then?
Then I guess it's about how intentional this was. How often does this happen, is it a pattern? Or is it a genuinely honest mistake, which you intend to fix? If, however, this is something you take lightly then it is indeed a question of integrity, professionalism and respect. Something that no organisation, or another professional will tolerate for too long.
I'm thinking Judy, Freddie, Ella, Barbra... What a great account of professionalism in some cases and a conflict of interest in others. A confusion between - professional as an artist who is there to deliver a performance, and professional - in terms of professional behaviour, when it comes down to keeping promises and not loosing studios money...
A professional will always deliver the promise regardless of personal situations
It is about balance between creativity and business. Yet what if there is a misunderstanding, an unintentional error? Then what?
How does one build a good rapport of professional behaviour at work if this persists on happening? And where does one start if they are new to it or want to turn a corner?
Well, the first step towards becoming a 'professional' in this sense of the word, is to become acquainted with the term. See what other people think about it. Become aware of your own actions and how it makes other people feel, put yourself in other peoples' shoes and exercise empathy.
It's about give and take, a healthy exchange of energy
Find out what "common sense" is where you live, because it can be different to where you are from. Learn about local 'social norms' and generally be respectful and kind to yourself and others. Take your time and be reminded that energy is the most valuable resource we have, so let's use it wisely.
Energy is the biggest currency
What do you think about professional behaviour at work, and how does it pay off when it comes down to the gig economy we are in today?
How do you encourage professional behaviour amongst your peers, students and seniors alike?
Share your thoughts with us below
Written by Elena Dana inspired by passionate discussions between Teachers during our Teacher Training