Professional presence, perception, work ethic and attitude in the workplace – professionalism (2023)

Learning goals:

  1. Identify and assess environmental cues in terms of professionalism, hidden rules, work ethic, and perception.
  2. Define keywords related to professionalism, work ethic, perception and attitude.
  3. Explain the importance of professional presence.
  4. Determine how attitude affects perceptions of communication and the environment.
  5. Understand how the use of technology affects how communications are interpreted and how attitudes are communicated.


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The process of perception allows us to experience the world around us. Take a moment to think about all the things that come to your mind every day. At any time, you can see familiar objects around you, feel the contact of objects and people on your skin, smell a home-cooked meal, and hear music in your neighbor's apartment. All of these things help shape our conscious experience and allow us to interact with the people and objects around us.

In this overview of perception and the perceptual process, we learn more about how we go from recognizing stimuli in the environment to acting on that information.

What is perception?

Perception is our sensory experience of the world around us and involves both recognizing environmental stimuli and acting in response to those stimuli. Through the process of perception, we receive information about properties and elements of the environment that are essential for our survival. Perception not only creates our experience of the world around us; It enables us to act in our environment.

Perception includes all five senses; touch, see, taste, smell and taste. This includes something called proprioception, a set of senses that include the ability to detect changes in body positions and movements. It also includes the cognitive processes necessary to process information, like recognizing a friend's face or recognizing a familiar smell.


Perception is the process of using the senses to obtain information about the environment or environmental experience; an impression or understanding based on what is observed or thought.

the perception process

The perceptual process is a sequence of steps that begins with the environment and leads to our perception of a stimulus and a response to the stimulus. This process is underway, but you don't spend much time thinking about the real thing.ProceedingsThis happens when you become aware of the many stimuli that surround you at any given moment.

The process of converting the light falling on your retina into a real visual image occurs subconsciously and automatically.

The subtle changes in pressure on your skin that allow you to feel an object happen without a single thought.

Professional presence, perception, work ethic and attitude in the workplace – professionalism (1)
The environmental stimulus

The world is full of stimuli that can attract our attention through different senses. EITHERenvironmental stimulusIt is everything in our environment that has the potential to be noticed.

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This can include anything that can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled or heard. It can also involve sensations from nerve endings, such as movements of the arms and legs or changes in body position in relation to objects in the environment.

For example, imagine you go for a morning jog at your local park. As you go through your workout, there are a variety of environmental stimuli that can draw your attention. branches sway in the breeze; a man plays with his golden retriever in the grass; a car drives by with windows down and music blaring; a duck splashes in a nearby pond. All of these things represent environmental stimuli that serve as a starting point for the perceptual process.

assisted stimulus

Öcharm visitedit is the specific object in the environment that our attention is focused on. In many cases, we can focus on stimuli that are familiar to us, such as B. a friend's face in a crowd of strangers at the local coffee shop. In other cases, we are likely to pay attention to stimuli that exhibit some degree of novelty.

In our example above, let's imagine that during your morning run you turn your attention to the duck swimming in the nearby pond.

The duck represents the visited stimulus. During the next stage of the perceptual process, the visual process will progress.

The image on the retina

The accompanied stimulus is then created as an image on the retina. The first part of this process is passing light through the cornea and pupil to the lens of the eye. The cornea helps focus the light entering the eye, and the eye's iris controls the size of the pupils to determine how much light enters. The cornea and lens work together to project an inverted image onto the retina.

As you may already know, the image on the retina is backwards relative to the actual image in the environment. At this stage of the perception process, this is not very important. The image has not yet been perceived and this visual information will change even more dramatically in the next step of the process.


The image on the retina is then converted into electrical signals in a process known astransmission. This allows visual messages to be sent to the brain for interpretation.

The retina contains many photoreceptor cells. These cells contain proteins known as rods and cones. Rods are primarily used for seeing things in low light, while cones are associated with color and shape recognition in normal lighting conditions.

The rods and cones contain a molecule called retinal, which is responsible for converting light into visual signals, which are then transmitted via nerve impulses.

neural processing

The electrical signals then sufferneural processing. The path a particular signal takes depends on the type of signal (i.e. an audible signal or a visual signal).

Electrical signals travel from the receptor cells to the brain through the series of interconnected neurons found throughout the body. In our example above, the image of the duck swimming in the pond is received as light on the retina, which is then converted into an electrical signal and then processed by neurons in the visual network.

In the next step of the perceptual process, you perceive the stimuli and become aware of their presence in the environment.

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In the next step of the perception process, we actually perceive the stimulus object in the environment. At this point we become aware of the stimulus.

Consider our example above where we imagine you are going for a run in the park in the morning. In the perception phase you realized that there is something to see in the lake.

Now it's a thing to beconsciouslyof environmental stimuli, and quite another to become fully aware of what we perceive.

In the next step of the perception process, we classify the perceived information into meaningful categories.


Perception is not just about perceiving stimuli. It is also necessary for our brain to categorize and interpret what we are feeling. Our ability to interpret the object and make sense of it is the next step known asrecognition.

Continuing with our example, in the recognition phase of the perception process, you notice that a duck is swimming on the water.

The recognition phase is an essential part of perception as it allows us to understand the world around us. By putting objects into meaningful categories, we can understand and respond to the world around us.


The final step in the perception process involves some sort ofactionin response to an environmental stimulus. This can include a variety of actions such as: B. turning your head to look closer or turning to look at something else.

The action phase of perceptual development involves some type of motor action that occurs in response to perceived and recognized stimuli. This may involve a larger action, such as B. running towards a distressed person, or something as subtle as blinking in response to a cloud of dust blowing through the air.

Three things shape perception:

  1. Cumulative data points
  2. maps and lenses
  3. expectations

Cumulative data points

how are the perceptionsConclusionsWe draw on people, places and things, a wheelbarrow full of accumulated information feeds our minds with information and stimuli that trickle through before leading to conclusions.

For example, the more closely we follow our favorite local sports team, the broader and deeper our observations and information base become. The more movies we see, the more we can help determine what makes a good script, a bad actor, a memorable soundtrack, or a great director.

Unfortunately, not all data points are based on fact. Opinions also shape perceptions. Unfortunately, the views and opinions of others can also be somewhat biased. Opinions are formed only from observations, not from facts.

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maps and lenses

Our worldview is shaped by two things: our upbringing, followed by life's significant emotional events and other experiences.

Our Education for Years 0-13 gathers life experiences and influences based on family (or lack thereof), surrounding support systems and infrastructure, culture, socioeconomic status, environment, education, teachers, coaches, religion, friends, foes, and cultural expectations. . The list is long, but the way we process all of these things during our formative years projects us into who we will be when we grow up. They create “our map of the world” and provide the lens through which we view life, each other and the things happening around us.

After these formative years have shaped the way we see things, significant emotional events and experiences will change them. These are the big events, positive and negative, that make us stop, reflect and take a self-assessment. Getting married or having children is positive. Getting divorced, quitting your job, or losing a loved one can be emotionally crippling. These are the things that reshape us as we move through different stages of life.

Soon the world population will surpass seven billion, meaning we are surrounded by seven billion brilliantly unique sets of maps and lenses. These are present in each of us and must be respected as such.

Everyone is unique. There's a magic in it that's undeniably good. The difference can be seen as good or bad. Maps and lenses shape our core beliefs and need to be understood by ourselves and respected by others. Since core beliefs rarely change, arguing about them produces little except bitterness and bad feelings about not knowing. Trying to understand more and judge less can increase interpersonal effectiveness.


The individual finds what he is looking for in life. Look for the good, see the good. seek evil, see evil. Negative thoughts accelerate negative conclusions. Closed minds miss opportunities. Open-mindedness means that everything is still possible. Curiosity and exploring differences can improve results.

White - Black - Mexican - Muslim - Christian - Democrat - Republican - Rich - Poor - Homeless - Salesman - Politician - Preacher - Criminal - Man - Woman - Elderly - Teen - Baby

Remember the labels shown above. Chances are, you have a gut feeling about at least some of these labels. How did this happen? The answer to how our perceptions are formed lies in the union of two elements.

The first element to understanding how our perceptions are formed isExperience. Our parents are getting divorced. We're going to our first school dance. We're going to college. We don't go to college. We started a company. We fail in business. We're getting promoted. We have married. We trust someone. Someone is breaking our trust.

Significant life experiences are filled with emotions and thoughts that play an important role in forming our perceptions, but only make up half of the equation.

The second element in the union of perceptions is oursInformation. We are told marriage is good or we are told it is bad. We are told how to view the rich, the homeless, the preachers, and the criminals. We collected a variety of reactions, emotions, and other cues surrounding each experience. This information becomes reality, whether it is reliable information or not.

Information surrounds us. Bad experiences and bad information lead to erroneous perceptions. False perceptions lead to disorientation and separation.

Whether good or bad, our information is what we use to process our experiences and shape our perceptions. Better experiences and better information lead to better insights that lead to direction and connection.

Here is the quintessence of how our perceptions are formed.

Bad experiences and bad information lead to erroneous perceptions. Wrong perceptions lead to disorientation, separation. We lose experiences, opportunities, and relationships that could have been healthy and beneficial. And in the end, how we are perceived by others.

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Our past experiences, the response of our senses, and our personal history form perceptions. Our perceptions inform how we think about a current experience. Attitudes about people, places and things are formed. Then the behavior/action occurs. Action causes outcomes and consequences, whether positive or negative, and ultimately how we are viewed by others.

Sometimes there are good ideas based on facts. There are also perceptions that are formed from what others want us to think based on their own perceptions. The good news is that perceptions are not permanent and can be changed with confidence and curiosity. Altered perceptions alter both reality and outcomes. Copyright ©2015 Ocean Palmer, Permission is required to use

Building the Observer: Understanding what drives the actions we take

There is so much data around us that we are selective about what we pay attention to and what we consider important. Then we interpret and interpret what we observe. This happens instantly and we go through several iterations and interpretation steps before we act. And we usually do this without testing our assumptions. People are so quick in their thought processes that they don't realize when this is happening. This often gets people into trouble when dealing with others who have come to different conclusions based on different assumptions. Defenses increase and communication breaks down.

As you look at the exercise in the left column, note how you understood what was going on in the conversation you observed.

Watch this video about the ladder of inference: LINK DOESN'T WORK!!!

Observable data: verbal, visual, numerical, etc.The change begins.
Data I choose from said, spoken or writtenJoe is late again.
Meanings or stories I create about what I see or hear.Joe doesn't pretend his job is important enough to show up on time.
Assumptions I make are based on the meanings I assign.Joe is never on time, but he never seems to get into trouble.
Conclusions I draw based on my assumptions.Joe must be the Warden's favorite.
Beliefs I have based on my conclusionsJoe doesn't have to play by the rules.
Actions I take based on my beliefs.I'm not worried about being on time or following the rules.

Answer the following questions during your reflection process.

  1. What assumptions and meanings did you ascribe to what you heard or observed?
  2. What conclusions did you draw that formed a core belief that you may not have recognized?
  3. What actions did you take, and what other actions could you have taken if you checked your assumptions along the way? ©, Ashraf, by Chris Argyris, Harvard Business School, accessed 9/3/2015 - Requires permission to use.

Structure of the observer worksheet

instructions: Make at least 1 observation of someone at work when shopping, eating, or where you are a customer. Then watch a TV news show and choose a story to respond to. For the third observation, record an observation of something that occurs in your daily life... radio, television, YouTube, newspaper articles, etc.

Write what you see or hear in the right column. Write your immediate reaction or interpretation of what you see or hear in the left column.

Read your observations and interpretations later and analyze what you see in relation to thatinference ladder.

Reflect on what you have learned about yourself through this exercise. Please list at least one thing below:

Professional presence, perception, work ethic and attitude in the workplace – professionalism (2)

(Video) Professionalism in a Workplace


What does professionalism and professional presence mean? ›

Professional presence is the demonstration of respect, confidence, integrity, optimism, passion and empathy in accordance with professional standards, guidelines and codes of ethics.

What are the 4 key points of professionalism? ›

Key Points

The eight core characteristics of professionalism are: Competence, Knowledge, Conscientiousness, Integrity, Respect, Emotional Intelligence, Appropriateness, and Confidence.

What is professionalism and strong work ethic in the workplace? ›

Work Ethic/Professionalism demonstrates integrity, resilience, accountability and ethical behavior. It's the ability to take initiative, maintain effective work habits (prioritize, plan and manage work; punctuality) to produce high quality results.

Why is professionalism and work ethic important in the workplace? ›

Professionalism leads to workplace success, and a positive reputation. Developing a strong work ethic is a habit that will carry on after college. Seeking personal growth and self improvement is valued by employers, and considered essential in the workplace.

What are the 3 P's of professionalism? ›

The 3 P's - Professionalism, Personality, Presentation.

What is a professional attitude in the workplace? ›

A professional attitude is the manner in which you conduct yourself in a professional setting. In this context, the term attitude often describes both how you appear and how you act. A professional attitude is often more formal than a personal attitude, in terms of appearance, comportment and interaction.

What are 5 professionalism skills? ›

Employers want new workers to be responsible, ethical, and team oriented, and to possess strong communication, interpersonal, and problem solving skills. Wrap these skills up all together and you've got professionalism.

What are the 5 qualities of a professional manner? ›

The top 5 qualities that lead to high job performance
  • 1) Ability to learn. Every organization has a specific set of knowledge that every employee will need to acquire to be successful at their job. ...
  • 2) Conscientiousness. ...
  • 3) Interpersonal skills. ...
  • 4) Adaptability. ...
  • 5) Integrity.

What are examples of professional ethics? ›

loyalty. respect for others. adherence to the law. doing good and avoiding harm to others.

What is an example of professionalism and strong work ethic? ›

A professional person comes to work before his shift, settles in and is ready to work for the duration. He is punctual to appointments with clients and meetings with staff and management. His work is completed on time and he meets all deadlines given to him.

Which is an example of professional work ethics? ›

Employees with good work ethic know how to manage their time well. They prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and get things done. These employees are punctual and arrive to work on time or earlier. They are rarely, if ever, late to their shift.

How do you demonstrate ethical and professional behavior? ›

10 ways to maintain professional behavior in the workplace
  1. Arrive on time. Punctuality shows your coworkers that you are reliable, care about your work and value their time. ...
  2. Follow your company's dress code. ...
  3. Communicate respectfully. ...
  4. Be honest. ...
  5. Have a positive attitude. ...
  6. Take responsibility. ...
  7. Avoid social media. ...
  8. Help others.
Mar 22, 2021

Why professional values are important in the workplace? ›

Your workplace values are the guiding principles that are most important to you about the way that you work. You use these deeply held principles to choose between right and wrong ways of working, and they guide important decisions and career choices.

What are the 6 elements of professionalism? ›

Essential elements of professional behavior include knowledge and skills about the field, communication and relationship skills, work ethic, moral and ethical behavior, accountability, equity, and passion.

What are the six traits of professionalism? ›

The NBAA Safety Committee has identified six traits of personal professionalism as a starting point for those who want to improve their own performance: character, attitude, engagement, competency in vocational skill, image and continuous improvement.

What are examples of professional attitude? ›

Examples of professional behavior include, but are not limited to: Placing the success of the team above self interest; not undermining the team; helping and supporting other team members; showing respect for all team members; remaining flexible and open to change; communicating with others to resolve problems.

What are 3 attitudes towards work? ›

Types of Job Attitudes

A person can have thousands of attitudes, but within the sphere of organizational behavior, researchers focus their attention on three types of work-related attitudes. They include job satisfaction, job involvement, and organizational commitment.

What is an example of a good attitude at work? ›

So, how to demonstrate a positive attitude at work? Positive attitude examples include thanking your colleagues for the good work that they do, handling criticism well, and being nice to others.

What are your four best professional qualities? ›

Important professional qualities
  1. Willingness to learn. True professionals are always open to learning more and advancing their skill set. ...
  2. Positive attitude. ...
  3. Conflict resolution. ...
  4. Helpfulness. ...
  5. Integrity. ...
  6. Calm under stress. ...
  7. Solution-oriented. ...
  8. Self-motivated.
Jul 23, 2020

What are the 5 ways to show professionalism in the workplace? ›

  • Be productive. Use your time productively at work. ...
  • Develop a professional image. ...
  • Take the initiative. ...
  • Maintain effective work habits. ...
  • Manage your time efficiently. ...
  • Demonstrate integrity. ...
  • Provide excellence. ...
  • Be a problem-solver.

What are the 10 characteristics of work ethics? ›

The ten work ethic traits: appearance, attendance, attitude, character, communication, cooperation, organizational skills, productivity, respect and teamwork are defined as essential for student success and are listed below.

What is the most important quality of a professional? ›

Qualities like honesty, punctuality, a spirit of service, the ability to meet deadlines and many others are also essential. Without them, a professional, no matter how talented, will find it difficult to work with others, and in the end, his technical skills will be largely wasted.

What are the 8 professional ethics? ›

Typically these include honesty, trustworthiness, transparency, accountability, confidentiality, objectivity, respect, obedience to the law, and loyalty.

How do you demonstrate professional presence? ›

To gain and enhance your professional presence, try these tips.
  1. Conduct a realistic self-appraisal. Get as many new opinions as you can-360-degree feedback. ...
  2. Don't lose sight of the positives. ...
  3. Find-and imitate-role models. ...
  4. Learn new behaviors. ...
  5. Stretch. ...
  6. Seek feedback.

What it means to be professionalism? ›

Professionalism does not mean wearing a suit or carrying a briefcase; rather, it means conducting oneself with responsibility, integrity, accountability, and excellence. It means communicating effectively and appropriately and always finding a way to be productive.

What is the difference between professional and professionalism? ›

The art of Professionalism can be understood as the practice of doing the right thing, not because how one feels but regardless of how one feels. Professionals make a profession of the specific kind of activity and conduct to which they commit themselves and to which they can be expected to conform.

What is professionalism and professional values? ›

What are professional values? Someone who displays professional values will: portray a professional image through reliability, consistency and honesty. dress and act appropriately. deliver work outcomes to agreed quality standards and timescales.

What is one example of how you can show professionalism in the workplace? ›

Use your time productively at work. Focus on your job responsibilities and avoid getting pulled into social media, web browsing and phone activity while on the clock. Project a professional presence and dress appropriately for your industry and organization.

What are examples of demonstrating professionalism? ›

How to Demonstrate Professional Behavior in the Workplace
  • Be on Time. Arrive on time to work and make it to meetings when they are scheduled. ...
  • Keep a Good Attitude. A good, positive attitude is important in the workplace. ...
  • Dress the Part. ...
  • Be Trustworthy. ...
  • Seek to Improve. ...
  • Show Strong Ethics.
Aug 18, 2022

What is the importance of professional presence? ›

A professional presence is one that shows confidence and where you conduct business matters. It is vital to have a professional physical presence in the community because that brings trust, confidence and realiability to clients, vendors and it simply boosts growth in your company.

What words describe professionalism? ›

synonyms for professionalism
  • civility.
  • expertise.
  • rectitude.
  • respectability.
  • competence.
  • probity.
  • steadiness.
  • thoroughness.

What is professionalism as a core value in the workplace? ›

What is Professionalism in the Workplace? Workplace professionalism is characterized by your attire, behavior, attitude, and communication. The definition of professionalism in the workplace also includes your timeliness, organization, and dedication.

What is the most important characteristic of professionalism? ›

Professionals are dependable and keep their commitments. They do what they say they will do and don't overpromise. Professionals respond to colleagues and customers promptly and follow through on their commitments in a timely manner. Punctuality is a key aspect of this professional characteristic.

What is the impact of professionalism at workplace? ›

Being professional can ensure a positive first impression, successful interpersonal relationships and a lasting reputation within your organization and industry, according to Katy Curameng, director of career planning and development at UMass Global.

What are three examples of professional? ›

Some examples of professional services include:
  • Legal services.
  • Logistics.
  • Accounting and bookkeeping.
  • Project management.
  • Marketing consultancy, including:
  • Digital marketing.
  • Content marketing.
  • Event management.

What are professional values ethics and attitudes? ›

Professional values, ethics, and attitudes are defined as the behavior and characteristics that identify professional accountants as members of a profession. These include the ethical principles generally associated with, and considered essential in defining, the distinctive characteristics of professional behavior.

What are the professional values and attitude? ›

Professional values, ethics, and attitudes include a commitment to (a) technical competence and professional skills, (b) ethical behavior (e.g., independence, objectivity, confidentiality, and integrity), (c) professional manner (e.g., due care, timeliness, courteousness, respect, responsibility, and reliability), (d) ...

How will you demonstrate professional attitudes and values in practice? ›

Students should develop a professional attitude and:
  • demonstrate appropriate and respectful behaviour towards patients, staff and peers.
  • accept personal responsibility for their own views and actions.
  • show an ability to work under their own direction and use initiative.
  • share the responsibility for learning with teachers.


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4. Professional Behaviour at Work
(InIT Learning)
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