A PROFESSIONAL and PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Post 197 – by Gautam Shah 

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When a person professes skill for a negotiated compensation and conditions, then the person is called a professional. This is very contrary to a situation where a person gets paid a time bound amount -a salary, for discharge of a skill. Salaried people, however, well skilled, are not considered to be true professionals.

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A salary, does not reflect the true value, but rather a generalized cost of the skill. Salary is also not linked to a quality assurance or time bound delivery. Salary as an income does not motivate a person to maximize the productivity and creativity.

Professionals can profess skills for their clients. Professional need clients, with specific assignments and certain compensation. Professionals, themselves become clients, when they need technical help, and are willing to compensate someone with appropriate skill.??????????????????

A professional is required to behave professionally with:

  • another professional of the same skill
  • other professional/s but of different skills
  • other individuals who help to carry out the assignments
  • person /persons who retain the professional for the technical services such as the clients.
  • society in general.

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When a professional deals with another professional, it needs to be examined, if the contact has a professional to client or client to professional context. If not, than the relationship is very predictable. Both the parties profess the same skills and so follow similar norms of behaviour. However, when the context is professional to a client or vice-versa, then one is a retainer and the other is retained one. The relationship is like any other ordinary client and professional relationship.

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A professional sports-person is one who is no longer an amateur, i.e. one who can be commissioned with a fee, for the skills for a specific situation like a game or a sports event. A crafts-person who produces artefacts in a workshop and later sells it to a connoisseur, is not a professional, as the products were not created as an assignment. On a similar count an artist or a sculptor who creates a work of art and sells it in an exhibition, is also not a professional. A muralist, however, is a professional, as the person is retained for a fee to mount a mural, at a specific location. A chartered accountant working, as a financial executive in a company for a salary, is not a professional, though the membership to a chartered body may endow a status that of a professional. Similarly, a doctor working in a hospital on a salary is not a professional, though he may behave with all the professionalism expected of a true medical professional. A cook, magician, actor, barber and prostitute, are all true professionals, if are retained with a fee for a specific assignment. A salaried ship captain, army General, or a professor, all may show utmost professionalism in their work or duties, yet are not true professionals..

Pankaj Advani Professional sports-person

Pankaj Advani Professional sports-person

Society expects a certain kind of behaviour from a person who is assigned a task for a fee. This unique behaviour or professionalism is set by:

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1 Person own-self: A professional is always an individual entity, because the individual own-self is the prime originator of professional behaviour. A professional’s behaviour or the professionalism is always judged as an individual.

Larry King Broadcaster

Larry King Broadcaster

2 Professionals themselves (professing similar skills) as a group: Formal codification of behaviour norms for a particular profession excludes the newer peripheral skills. New skills demand slightly different type of behaviour norm. Entrenched practitioners of a profession cannot tolerate the altered or additional behaviour norms required for the new skills. When conditions to become or remain a professional are very formal (written or neatly described), creative individuals feel stifled. They try to reform the existing set-up to cause a change, or step-out to form a new organization. In both cases, the existing organization suffers, or is destroyed.

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3 Society in general: Over a period of time, the behaviour of all persons in a particular profession becomes so obvious or predictable that, these professionals seem to be directly or indirectly, visibly or invisibly governed by a set of `ethics’, code of conduct, or rules-regulations. All such rules, codes etc. however, can never be formally set, explained, or written. Many are traditions or universally accepted norms.

4 Authority or Government through rule of the law: Unless other conditions are fully or partially met, the rule of law on its own cannot set the professional behaviour and consequently create a professional. The fourth condition, is a matter of legality or rather a necessary evil.

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DATA for PROFESSIONALS

Post by Gautam Shah

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Work of a Professional begins with the mandatory data / prime information provided by a Client. When a professional comes to know of a potential client with job, a specific “schedule of data requirements are presented. Some of the required data items are obvious and easily available, yet it helps to know the sincerity of the client. In the first or first few encounters a professional must check out the capacity of the client to furnish such data. Such demands also make a client aware that a professional has begun the assignment, and the stakes involved in design-making.

 

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In exceptional cases, where the client is invisible and represented by a ‘Statutory Body’, very little data is likely to be available. Here the client is incapable of providing the data, and so it is up to the professional to get the same collected, but with the client’s consent and cost.

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A professional may not have the right to use the data collected for, and paid by a client, for any other client or purposes. It always remains property the client. Whenever a client provides a crucial data like sizes, technical requirements, permissions etc. the transfer of information should be formal and well recorded.

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In some cases it is only the client that can provide the necessary input, and a professional must make the client aware of the situation. A client should also be made formally aware of data that is being procured by the designer as part of a chargeable service or courtesy. Whenever a chargeable service is provided, a formal pre-approval / consent of the client is necessary. 

A professional cannot challenge a client’s right to procure the data from other professionals or sources. As a matter of fact, it is considered a professional decency to make a client aware of own right.

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A professional, however, competent will require the services of other professionals. A professional remains responsible for the delivered data where the main professional pays for such data. And here the main professional must exclusively appoint such agencies and receives the output. Often the main professional has no role, or only an advisory role in such appointments. If an external agency is retained by the client to procure data, all the resultant output becomes the exclusive property of the client. The client has a right to make that available, to a professional, only the relevant parts of such information.

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Normally the person who pays, receives the output, and has the first and exclusive right to the data. The party that pays for data, also acquires the inherent risks and liabilities.

When a professional, directly hires another professional, the risks and liabilities increase manifold. However, if a client, retains other agencies, the risks and liabilities of the main professional are diluted. Contributions from independent professionals should be favoured, because these provide greater clarity, a counter check, division of responsibilities and dilution of risks.

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