Test Your Professional Behavior

Comments (20)

by Gerri D Smith
Copyright 2004
Word Count - 821

"Professionalism is a skill that must be practiced to be mastered; it does not need to be explained to yourself or others - it just is."

It's natural not to be understood all the time, and it's natural for you to not understand others all the time. When you set yourself up to understand everything that's said or done to you, most of the time you will be disappointed. There isn't any way you can accurately predict and interpret another person's words, feelings and emotions, or their deepest thoughts, simply because no two people think alike.

Learn to overlook some things that you don't fully understand. For instance, when you interact with someone whose attitude or behavior is irritating to you, learn to ignore the behavior. If the action toward you is not harmful, then ignore it. Then you won't become a victim of the unpleasant behavior. Or, if you choose to, and can handle the conflict, you can seek an explanation from the person whose behavior is distasteful to you.

Also, you can test your professionalism when placed in an unpleasant or an offensive situation by either walking away or, quietly commanding yourself to smile. This deflects the hurt, and erases the need to feel that you've been treated unfairly. This is a good test to
practice and master.

In many business transactions, there may be times when you won't approve of a customer's behavior or language. Most of the time, the rude behavior has nothing to do with you. So, you can disregard it. Otherwise, you'll see your emotional strings getting pulled every time.

Observe your own behavior as you interact with others. Make certain you are not guilty of any of the unprofessional habits listed below:

* ARGUING - Disagreeing, quarrelling, or being in conflict with another. Arguments begin when there is a misunderstanding. Whenever your words or actions cause another to experience feelings of embarrassment or humiliation, or when you participate in an argument that leads to the other person being treated unfairly, you are acting in an unprofessional manner.

Arguments are not normal behaviors. They are self-defeating attitudes that may elevate your blood pressure and your stress level. Arguments tend to upset both participants. Instead of arguing, try to help and/or support the other person's view. Agree to disagree - you keep your
opinion, and let the other person keep theirs.

* LYING - Being deceitful, dishonest, and insincere. How many people do you know who tell the truth all of the time and at all costs? Take a look at yourself, your associates, your family, and anyone you interact with - even your not-so-favorite people. In some situations, this unprofessional behavior may be very narrowly defined and may depend upon the circumstances.

In some cases, it makes sense to avoid lying when you know that the truth will be damaging. You must then evaluate your principles. Are your values more important than the person you're helping? However, when your words are meant to conceal the truth, or to destroy relationships, or another's character, it is not a professional behavior.

* DOMINEERING -A feeling of superiority, overbearing, forceful, or showing offensive behavior toward others. Developing a need to dominate or to be accepted based upon your own self-importance is another self-defeating attitude. Professional behavior is never having a need to prove that you are superior to anyone else.

Whenever you depend upon the attention of others, or when you develop a need to be noticed, you set yourself up for constant gratification and expectation for approval. How long could you expect someone else to cater to your wishes, without the other person losing her/his own

* EXAGGERATING - Overstating; embellishing the truth, or inflating the truth. Nothing is more sacred than the integrity of your own mind. There is only one you. Know that you are unique - yet, flaunting it to the point of rubbing your uniqueness in someone else's nose is not a sign of

* JUDGING - A way of comparing yourself to others. You are guilty of sitting in judgment of others when you display any of the following positions:

1.) "I'm more attractive than she is."
2 "My accomplishments and goals are more important than yours."
3.) "My business is better than the one down the street."
4.) I can do ____________(Fill in the blank) better than anybody else.
5.) My house is bigger and more expensive than my co-worker; my business partner, my brother, etc.

When your way of thinking is based on your opinion and is not based on fact or the truth, the behavior is unprofessional.

Look closely at yourself and your own aspirations, then learn to appreciate the fact that your life need not be built upon comparing yourself to others, exaggerating and/or lying to others, or feeling that you're superior. Instead, with your built-in spiritual nature, make your life one that is pleasing to others, fulfilling to yourself, and - exceedingly professional


About the Author

Gerri D Smith publishes and hosts multiple Gateways to inspire, encourage, and support individuals, small business owners, entrepreneurs. An online business resource giving you more ways to reach your personal and financial goals through articles, ongoing contests for cash prizes, and more in a Free Monthly Newsletter. For details, visit: http://www.distinctivebusinesswomen.com Or, email your correct email address to: distinctive2002@excite.com?Suject=SubscribeG


Meili 19.12.2006. 05:09

How can I get tested for ADD? I looked at the symptom of ADD and almost all of them correlate strongly with my behavior. I want to get tested by a professional, but my parents would never allow that because they refuse to accept the possibility that something might be wrong with me. I'm underage so I can't go to a doctor by myself. Please tell me if you have any questions regarding my situation.
It's not that I'm obsessed with finding out if I have ADD or not. I am afraid that it's affecting my academic performance, and I want to get treatment if I do have ADD. I am actually really intelligent, yet I had one of the lowest ranks at my school in China due to the fact that I never did my work, never paid attention in class, and never studied for tests. I have had problems with paying attention every since I can remember. (One of the only things which interest me are puzzles and the T.V. Those are the only things in which I can only pay attention to for a sustained amount of time.)
In response to some of the answer: I thought of the possibility that I have ADD so I started doing research on the subject, not the other way around.
And I can only pay attention to things that is extremely interesting to me. I try my best to concentrate on my schoolwork, yet no matter what I do I just can't seem to focus. I spending around 5 hours just staring at a piece of paper (A exaggeration, but you get the idea.)
Sorry, I'm starting to get off topic.


Admin 19.12.2006. 05:09

Talk to your school counselor and tell them exactly what you said here. Part of how kids are diagnosed is determined by teachers input - often you can find support through what's available to you at school. Don't give up, keep trying and get some adult help.


Jen 13.04.2013. 17:43

How do you recognize VERY MILD autism in a 15 year old? We are considering testing (based on professionals' advice). I know she has trouble with school work -- grammar, basic math, etc. Socially challenged. Has problems connecting actions with consequences, although we've been VERY thorough in our behavioral disciplines, etc. ("If you are late, you lose two extra minutes of curfew for every one minute," etc.) But I still don't know if this is behavior or autism.
Can someone help me understand MILD autism? Because she's never done circles or head-banging, and she started talking EARLY, not late. Thanks.


Admin 13.04.2013. 17:43

Although Asperger's has been wiped off the map by the DSM-V and integrated into the whole of Autism, there's no doubt that it is separate from the usual definition of Autism. Asperger's is the non-PC term for High Functioning Autism (HFA). Many of us frown on such terms, though, to tell you the truth, that's exactly what Asperger's is -- HFA.

I'm afraid you're the victim of some stereo-typing of the condition. Generally, Aspies don't have a speech delay. The stims (such as turning circles) are much broader behaviors. For instance, mine are fiddling with things -- spinning objects, folding and refolding paper, and tapping my feet. Not all of us have problems learning, though we will tend to focus on certain favorite subjects to the exclusion of others. And discipline? LOL, Aspies tend to be contemptuous of rules and authority, so punishment is moot.
You don't mention if she has sensory difficulties. Many of us are sensitive to sounds, light, odors, tastes, touch.
Here's a blog of my traits: http://circlecsc.blogspot.com/p/gambelis-offal.html

Don't concentrate on the term MILD autism or even HFA. Many of the aspects of the spectrum can range and be displayed anywhere from 0.01% to 100%. Where your daughter is in there can greatly vary -- IF indeed she is on the spectrum.
Get her evaluated and you read up.
There's a book list below. Take much of what is written with a grain of salt and don't let certain aspects scare you. Every aspie is different.

Be careful about the internet sites you visit. Any site that claims Autism is caused by voodoo (other than genetics) is fraudulent. Any site that claims there's a cure is fraudulent (though early intervention can improve symptoms). The organization Autism Speaks does not speak for us.

Rudy Simone is Aspie herself and very astute.
Most of us on the spectrum resent NTs (neurotypicals aka non-autistics) trying to get into our heads -- even the experts can only interpret what we experience.


manna eater 24.10.2010. 12:51

How can you test if a person is an automaton (machine) or possesses consciousness? I have an ongoing discussion with a friend about how to develop a litmus test to see if someone is just an automaton and not really conscious. Does such a test exist? If so, how could you ever get evidence that someone appears normal but is not really conscious?

manna eater

Admin 24.10.2010. 12:51

I believe we are not yet that far in science that we can use robots instead of humans to do all the work. Robots would have to be programmed by humans to perform tasks and even most small tasks which humans do are done conscously. We aren't automatons and even cleaning a toilet involves slight brain work even though it's not an intellectual task. Most tasks we do are not done automatically. Even if someone just cleans a room they have a strategy about where to start and a certain way in which they go about doing it. We don't think about breathing, about blinking our eyes, we can be not thinking and manage to put one foot in front of the other.. just out of sheer will to move to get somewhere, we fall asleep and when that happens it happens automatically because our body is tired and it tells our mind that it needs to rest. etc...Maybe you should study sleepwalking and how it is possible for some people.. there are some people who sleepwalk and who seem to be able to perform certain things and even walk distances and then go back to bed and in the morning they awake and know nothing about it.. or there seem to be people who raid the fridge in the middle of the night and they claim they are not conscious.. they are not aware of what they are doing and yet they manage to make bacon and eggs and sit down and eat it.. and other people still get up and look for something to eat and they really don't care what they find, they will eat a bar of soap, they will eat chalk, drink mouthwash ( well that contains alcohol). You have to get a book about sleepwalking and sleep eating... then you might get an answer to your question. I have heard about some crazy and unbelieveable stories regarding people raiding the fridge and appear asleep and they eat whatever is handy, then they wonder why they put on weight because during the day they eat only normal amounts and healthy foods...Study that or inquire at some of the sleep clinics where they study such extraordinary behaviour.. It is said that a person can commit murder in their sleep. If that is so, then someone who wants to do away with their partner only has to claim they had a nightmare and were choking an enemy and they get away with what they did, because they did not plan this murder.. it was just an unfortunate event..of someone acting or reacting violently towards a nightmare.

This guy here gives the impression of being loaded with alcohol but I believe he is sleepwalking and doing all these things because I heard a lot of strange stuff people who sleepwalk are able to do..


Nobody should let a sleepwalker get behind the wheel of a car even if it says don't wake up a sleepwalker. This could have been dangerous. I believe such things exist and it's not fake.. you check it out by going to a sleep clinic and talk to professionals there what sleepwalkers are capable of.


Alli H. 02.01.2011. 05:59

What is a zoologist do you have to test animals? i would like to become a zoologist i have done reasearch and found out a little bit but were do you work? Is the salary good, and do you have to test animals?

Alli H.

Admin 02.01.2011. 05:59

Zoology is the field of biology that focuses on the animal kingdom (just like how botany is the field which focuses on plants). Zoologists do all sorts of tests on animals, but not all of them cause harm to the animal. For example ecologists may observe the behaviours of different animals to understand how animals survive in their environments, or just see what kind of animals are in an area by setting traps to catch or film them.

There are many areas of specialisation in zoology where invasive animal experiments are commonplace, such as reproductive biology, genetics, and physiology. However if you are opposed to this kind of thing you can still study these fields if the university you attend allows conscientious objection.

Salary depends on what area you specialise in, whether you work as a researcher or consultant etc. It really depends on what area you want to get involved in, I'm interested in conservation so there is lots of work but it doesn't pay well. Lots of people work in biotechnology which pays very well for professional scientists. The best jobs are in universities as academics, where you get to do your own research on what interests you and teach other people as well; although only the brightest people get this kind of work and it is very demanding. You can also work at universities as a research scientist where you conduct experiments, but this doesn't pay as well as being an academic.

If you are interested in ecology or environmental science you can work as a consultant for a private firm or on your own as a freelancer. This involves examining sites to determine what kind of plants and wildlife lives there when there are plans to develop the site, or monitoring environments after a development has taken place.


teebop 16.10.2010. 21:17

Why are there an overwhelmingly number of children being recommended to be tested for ADD/ADHD? It seems like so many students are being diagnosed these days. I have also been in several classrooms: public and private and it seems like 60% of the students were off task or severely out of control. They would not stay seated for long, spoke out of turn, or were laughing and talking out loud. However, is this does this justify a teacher to suggest that the child needs to be tested? I would suggest that these children who are misbehaving are lacking in discipline from the home.


Admin 16.10.2010. 21:17

Hi teebop -

Great question, and great points all around. It does seem like a lot more people are being diagnosed with ADD / ADHD lately, or at least being suggested that they have the condition. Before I take my personal position on the matter, let's look at some facts.

1. Our awareness about ADD / ADHD has increased tremendously over the past 10-15 years (for better and for worse). From this understanding, we have realized that ADD / ADHD is NOT just a condition represented by that hyper little boy who can't sit still, can't focus, and who is always getting in trouble at school.

ADD / ADHD is a condition that affects girls almost equally as in boys. We have also learned a great deal about ADD / ADHD over the lifespan and this condition does not get "outgrown" in adulthood, but simply the symptoms and experience of the condition changes.

2. Public opinion and misunderstanding leaves much to be desired. There is a very poor understanding by the public about just what ADD / ADHD is and who actually has it. Too many people, including professionals believe that ADD / ADHD is a true deficit when in fact it is a condition represented by "differences."

I am NOT going to suggest that with ADD / ADHD there are no real struggles and challenges, but if you look at societal expectations, it really does follow the metaphor of trying to take square pegs and forcing them into round holes.

Different people require different things from the world. It's that simple at the most basic level.

3. Attention and expectations are rapidly changing in our society. We notice distraction and difficulty focusing today, much more than before, simply because the demands on us (adults) and children are increasing, while our time remains the same.

If you pay attention to advertising statistics alone, you will know that we are being bombarded with more messages and "attention grabbing" commercials and ads than ever before. How can we be expected to know what to pay attention to when society is sending us too many messages to begin with?

Now back to the question at hand and the point you are making. One can argue, and I would agree, that a child's behavior is and often can be a representation of what is going on at home. Absolutely! But, with ADD / ADHD, there is some truth to the fact that parenting style does NOT cause ADD / ADHD. Instead, there often tends to be a mismatch in parenting style and understanding what a child needs from that parent.

ADD / ADHD (in simple terms) is a condition by in which an individual experiences the world very differently than the non-ADHD person. They see the world differently. They process situations differently, and they respond to the world differently. Differences are everything here, and we really need to be focusing on differences and NOT deficit.

So, teachers in the classroom do mean well, but let's be honest, they are NOT trained to make a diagnosis. Rather they are merely a professional in the child's life who can make suggestions based on what they observe and see in the classroom.

I think we have a long way to go in understanding and educating the public on what ADD / ADHD really is, and what these children need for supports.

Hope this helps a little.


Rory F. Stern, PsyD
"Former therapist" and ADHD Expert


Lindsey Z 09.02.2012. 15:52

What mental health professional best for 13 year old? Hello,
For some time now I think my daughter has been suffering from depression, or early bipolar disorder (both run in the family.)
I was to have her tested, but I'm not sure which mental health provider type would be best?
Pyschologist - basically the study & some therapy.
Pyschiatrist - I think meds & therapy.
License Clinical SW/Therapist - I'm unsure about the level of degree? Or what they do...

Any advice would be great, thank you!

Lindsey Z

Admin 09.02.2012. 15:52

If you think her disorder is temporay and can be treated by talking it out, and that she can have control over the depression (or mania events), then a Psychologist is worth your time. However, if your daughter is really suffering from clinical depression, or from other chemical imbalances of the brain such as bipolar, only the Psychiatrist can help.

If you go the Psychiatrist route, most will base their Rx prescriptions on information you provide him about the behavior. It's much about trial of a drug, and then observation of the patient. There is another route. Brain scans can be done, like the Amen clinic pioneered, which gives the doctor a picture of the activity in the brain. This is a sure fire way to see what the problem is. For example, certain areas of the brain are too hot, or too cold. Then, the medication given to treat the condition is no longer a guess. And, if the brain comes up normal, go to a Psyhologist because the treatment isn't through drugs.


xxxxx17021984 13.04.2011. 10:41

How can i test for benadryl from a urine sample? - possible overdose in a toddler.? I need to test for this as she is showing all the behaviour of overdose of benadryl whenever she comes back from her dads. Are there any dug tests that would show it up? Thanks.


Admin 13.04.2011. 10:41

If you suspect an overdose in a toddler it will have to be tested for in a blood sample at a hospital by a healthcare professional. Unfortunately a urine sample will not show signs of the drug.


jmom123 16.09.2007. 19:29

Has anyone ever had their child tested for autsim? What does the test consist of? My 18 mo old son is not speaking any words yet. He laughs, cries, yells and babbles but no words. The pediatrician is sending us to get him tested and I am just wondering what to expect.


Admin 16.09.2007. 19:29

Please don't listen to the 1st response. I have a child who is 3 yrs old that was diagnosed with Autism in July. There's a good chance your son may not have it , but best is to get him evaluated..no matter what he may have..autistic or not..early intervention is the key.

My son was evaluated by a licensed psychologist. Most of the evaluation consisted of questions about his behavior from birth and questipons where asked about family health history and the pregnancy. He also asked the a set of questions to both my husband and I at seperate times to compare the similarity in asnwers about our son. The whole process took about a month.

The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorders may or may not be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but usually become obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).

As part of a well-baby/well-child visit, your child's doctor should do a "developmental screening" asking specific questions about your baby's progress. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that signal further evaluation is warranted:

~Does not babble or coo by 12 months
~Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
~Does not say single words by 16 months
~Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
~Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age.

Having any of these five "red flags" does not mean your child has autism. But because the characteristics of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team. This team may include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant, or other professionals knowledgeable about autism.

The central features of Autistic Disorder are the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interest. The manifestations of this disorder vary greatly depending on the developmental level and chronological age of the individual. Autistic Disorder is sometimes referred to as Early Infantile Autism, Childhood Autism, or Kanner's Autism.

A. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3):

1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

~Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction

~Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

~A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)

~Lack of social or emotional reciprocity

2. Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:

~Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gestures or mime)

~In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others

~Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language

~Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level

3. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

~Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus

~Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

~Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)

~Persistent preoccupation with parts of object

B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:

~Social interaction

~Language as used in social communication

~Symbolic or imaginative play

C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett's Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.


Shiner 03.12.2008. 04:30

How do the professionals determine whether a child's autism is mild, moderate or severe? I can't find a description of which particular behaviors separate the different classifications of autism. Is there an actual list the professionals follow to make this decision?


Admin 03.12.2008. 04:30

Depends on the testing procedures, how badly they fail. To put it in layman's terms, severe is an F, moderate, is D, mild is C. Depends on if it is a doctor or psychologist making the call


the_mitty_mantrem 13.09.2008. 03:43

How can I get treatment for social anxiety? I've displayed several symptoms of social anxiety/phobia, but I don't have any health insurance so I can't seek professional help. I live in California - is there a program of some sort that can help me with this, that doesn't require insurance?


Admin 13.09.2008. 03:43

View the information and weblinks for social anxiety/shyness, and self confidence, in sections 9, and 38, at http://www.ezy-build.net.nz/~shaneris Here is an exercise that can help you. It is called "Act as If." When you are in a social situation, act as if you are outgoing. Talk more, smile at everyone, ask questions, speak in a normal or excited tone, not a meek tone. Watch some of your outgoing peers, and imitate the style of their social behavior.

Research shows that when you "act as if" continually, your image of yourself begins to conform to your new behavior. In this case, you will gain self-esteem and self-confidence, and begin to see yourself as socially normal, not shy. You will become more socially successful, and this will motivate you to continue your new social behavior until it becomes a habit.

Try this for a month, in every situation you can. I am confident that you will become much more comfortable and outgoing. One form of therapy is to go somewhere that nobody knows you, and deliberately make an utter fool of yourself: put on a paper hat, and scream out: "I'm queen/king of America!", or something else ridiculous, then get back in the taxi, (warn the driver of your intentions, first) or car, and leave.

People will point, and say: "Look at that idiot". But, you're probably not up to the stage where you can do that, yet (I can, and I used to be shy). It will teach you that, although it isn't actually pleasant, you will survive; be stronger for the experience, and the next time (should you need to repeat this type of therapy) will be considerably easier. Remember: "A fear avoided is a fear strengthened; a fear faced is a fear reduced." Regard it as your final test: once you have accomplished it, the barrier will be broken; just don't go too far, the other way! Learn to laugh at yourself, and give a big, cheesy grin when others see you do something foolish, as we all do, occasionally. It is endearing, if you don't do it too often. Use positive affirmations: for example: "I am very likable and other people feel comfortable around me".

Write down all of your self limiting beliefs; then write down the positive counter of them, (exact opposite) and repeat them and imprint them into your mind.
Most importantly: Force yourself to approach somebody and initiate some sort of communication. Start out small by asking the time and directions and gradually go bigger.

Although there are anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics) available, these come with risks, and the possibility of side effects, habituation, even addiction, and withdrawal problems, and are unsuitable for young people.

Try having a cup of "Tension Tamer", herbal tea, by Celestial Seasonings, (from supermarket tea, or health food aisles) or make some at home, and cool, then bottle, and drink as needed (I find it so strong tasting, that I need to drink it quickly, followed by something like fruit juice, to take away the taste, but others may find it more tolerable). C(h)amomile tea is a more palatable option. As with all herbal/green teas, use lemon/lime, and/or a little sweetener (NOT ARTIFICIAL!!!) but no cream, or milk.

Xylitol, or Stevia is preferable, (health food stores) or fruit sugar (fructose, such as "Fruisana", from supermarket sugar aisles) or even a little honey, because these will reduce "sugar spikes". Valerian has also been recommended, but some people experience "valerian hangovers". Ensure you know how you react to it, before doing something potentially dangerous, like going out on the roads. The idea is to use the above like water wings, to provide initial, short term support, while you become proficient in the above techniques.


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