Being A Professional: Dale Atkins at TEDxYouth@EHS (Transcript)

Dale Atkins

Dale Atkins – TRANSCRIPT

I’m going to talk about professional and that’s a word that we hear all the time. We hear it, we see it, we read it its its everywhere.

We use it so often. I wonder if we really even know what its mean. And maybe more importantly, what is being professional mean to you. We can look in a dictionary and generally we’d find oh three definitions and the first is the professional pertains to a profession. It kind of makes me scratch my head, but the second definition adds a little bit more. Professional is someone who’s paid for their occupation.

Makes sense. And, a third typical definition is a professional is someone who’s achieved a high level of knowledge and skill. Okay. But when I look out in the audience this evening and I apply those definitions I think it applies to just about everybody. So why is it in a community full of knowledgeable and skilled and paid workers that that label professional is given to so few people.

Well, I think it has to do likely with the value of the service that’s delivered. So what differentiates a professional say from a technician, a technician is very skilled and savvy and knowledgeable person, but the difference between the two, the professional delivers judgment. Yeah, that considered decision, that valued judgement. In fact, the more uncertainties we face the more important judgment becomes and the more important the role of the professional. But professional is an odd word.

I mean i’ts not just a label or a title; it also can be used to describe or mean attitudes, behaviors, and actions. Think about it for a minute, if we combine those three the the effect of those three has some pretty profound implications. And the reason is that attitudes drive behaviors, and behaviors drive actions, then actions reinforce attitudes, and what those three things mean is there what they’re describing is literally us as individuals. So that tells me that being professional that can be applied by anyone and everyone. And I think that’s a good thing.

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The process of being a professional its not an event, or maybe I should have said that a little more clearly, the only way of becoming a professional is not an event its a process. It’s a journey. And, it takes some real internal drive and motivation but its often sparked with interest and desire. And the process for me started long ago when I was able to become a member of mountain rescue team when I was in junior high school. And, very early on I realized and learned the value of being a professional.

Because in mountain rescue uncertainty just that abounds, and judgment is mission critical to what we do in mountain rescue. And over the years I’ve learned more about professionalism and what I see is a framework to being a professional. And that framework well it consists to four different aspects. And here’s sort of the short version of my talk. But those four aspects to being a professional are simply knowing, doing, helping, and learning.

You might think, whoa, wait a minute Dale, is that is that really something or is that the world according to Dale Well, it actually is some real meat to this substance Those first three knowing, doing, and helping that those were identified by psychologists and sociologists more than 25 years ago But, they missed the boat it wasn’t complete Because being a professional is a process

So I’ve added learning to that. Because it keeps that process going. And the beauty of being a professional what I’ve learned is sure it applies to me and work but it also applies at home, it applies at school, it applies in the mountains and certainly at work In my journey to that as I said started with mountain rescue. More than 50 years ago here in Evergreen Alpine rescue team was formed.

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