Tuesday, 2 August 2016

FIVE (5) THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PROFESSIONAL VIRTUES





  1. Acceptable ethical standards for client relations vary from profession to profession and have developed over time.

There are acceptable and unacceptable ethical standards relating to every profession. Every profession has its own responsibility in terms of client relation. A customer relation officer or a salesperson has the virtue-responsibility of cheerfulness, modesty, and open-mindedness.  Likewise a medical doctor is expected to be compassionate in the discharge of his/her services. It will be absurd for a professional footballer to fight on the pitch, hence the kind of profession one embrace determines how he/she ought to act and react.

  1. The good of the client should be the professional’s ultimate concern.

Real professionals are not driven by money; they are driven by Value. What really defines a professional is the ability to put a ‘smile’ on the face of his/her client. When the needs of clients are adequately met, it shows up on their faces. A virtue-oriented professional will suppress his/her self-interest in order to help his/her client. This will go a long way to push the profit margin of any organization with time.

  1. The professional is neither a dictator nor a technocrat, but an enabler working in the context of trust.

This is where most professionals’ miss it; they turn to impose their expertise on the client with a very good intention of producing the best. What most professionals forget is the fact that we are all different. Dictators usually give what they feel is the best for the clients which might not necessarily be what the client needs. Real professionals work ‘hand in hand’ with their client to achieve the best.

  1. The professional body of which he/she belongs regulates his/her personal conduct.

Most publicly acclaimed professions like lawyers, accountants, lecturers and doctors have professional bodies that regulate their conduct. Whatever decision(s) taken by the executive arm of the body is legally binding on all members. For instance  if UTAG (university teachers association of Ghana) decides on to embark on a strike action to communicate their displeasure against the government, individual lecturer’s cannot act otherwise. It will be deemed as a conflict of interest and such person(s) could be penalized severely.

The body serves as a strong force against any external trait. It is an umbrella which protects the interest of her members against bad conduct and systems of injustice. More often than not, we have a local body and international bodies. The professional body is limited in jurisdictions where the license is accepted.

  1. Professional virtues position an organization to earn a good image

As the biblical account of proverbs 22:1a states, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…” . Likewise, the image of the organization should be chosen rather than any profit margin. This is because the organizational image is much more important than any amount of revenue it can make in a lifetime. To a greater extent, what really determines the continuity of any firm is not its annual revenue; it is the name or “goodwill” attached to it. Coca cola which is 129 years old is still in operation because of how they uphold their values, among other things.  Also, the London Gazette is the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United Kingdom for almost 350 years (having first published on 7th November 1665). You can never underestimate the importance of good image.