Being a professional

A view of professionalism

Providing competent professional service is a two-act structure consisting of knowledge of the tools and processes as well as knowing the population you serve.

Knowing the population you serve may seem like a purely intellectual enterprise ringed with the ideals of objectivity and distance. Yet, we need to recognize the affective component of knowing any population that hinders objectivity.

A professional can never be truly object; we all experience people and situations through the lens of our beliefs, values, goals, history, and worldview.

Perhaps to truly approach objectivity requires self-awareness of your personal goals, motivations, and reason for what you have chosen to profess.

Attitude Inoculation

There is a way to resist negative peer pressure or the judgemental conduct of others around you: Make a public commitment to your position and welcome mild attacks.

At the start of any negative interaction, stating your commitment to your position or conviction publicly is key. Standing up to your conviction will make you less susceptible or open to negative peer pressure or shaming.

Research shows that when you attack a committed person just enough for them to react but not become overwhelmed (a mild attack), they become more committed.

In fact, several mild attacks can immunize a person and empower them to resist more powerful attacks against their position.

Mild attacks stimulate us to reflect on counterarguments. Several studies suggest that counterarguing helps people build their resistance against persuasion.