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Professional Attitude

Professional Attitude

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Quick Overview

The model describes different aspects that require interpretation to speak of a total professional attitude. The following lines of approach are important:



  •        Result-oriented: setting clear goals, focus on the end result

  •        Customer-focused: customer’s requirements and wishes are pivotal

  •        Collaboration: focus on team members and the environment

  •        Leadership and Coaching: focus on the team and the individual

  •        Giving/receiving feedback: the familiar mirror

  •        Commitment to standards: product, process but also behavioural requirements.


 


Related models: Seven HabitsPhases of Team DevelopmentSituational LeadershipProfessional AttitudeConflict Mode ModelPrinciples of Leadership;Manager vs. LeaderCultural TypesLeadership and Influence



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Details

Professional Attitude

 

Background

Coach & Commitment developed this model on behalf of ABNAMRO. In theory the lines of approach are familiar. Models2use, however, uses its own interpretation.

Related models: Seven HabitsPhases of Team DevelopmentSituational LeadershipProfessional AttitudeConflict Mode ModelPrinciples of Leadership;Manager vs. LeaderCultural TypesLeadership and Influence

 

The model

The model describes different aspects that require interpretation to speak of a total professional attitude. The following lines of approach are important:

-      Result-oriented: setting clear goals, focus on the end result

-      Customer-focused: customer’s requirements and wishes are pivotal

-      Collaboration: focus on team members and the environment

-      Leadership and Coaching: focus on the team and the individual

-      Giving/receiving feedback: the familiar mirror

 -     Commitment to standards: product, process but also behavioural requirements.

 

How to use it

 The above aspects can be interpreted in different ways.

 

Result-focused

Each team and individual must be familiar with the goals and results of the project in which they are engaged. A result-focused approach can be given shape in different ways.

Use the SMART principles to define goals. Make sure goals are described specifically, results are measurable, the assignment is accepted by the team, the target is realistic and in terms of feasibility make sure delivery is time-bound.

Create a control mechanism to determine on a regular basis whether goals are being reached. Focus on preset steering parameters that have been tuned with the client. Remember the ‘Devil’s Square, the ‘Devil’s Triangle, the BOQIT+R or the COPAFIJTH. Standard administration and measurement will help you interpret information properly thus making steering and adjustment perfectly possible. Share results with the team and together determine the interventions required to book results within the agreed frames.

Tune steering and adjustment frequency to the phase which activities have reached. Heavy test projects usually require short cyclical and highly frequent steering. A tender project usually follows on a less frequent yet more formal pattern.

 

Customer-focused

The results that you deliver will serve the organisation’s strategy and goals. For these results someone has the final responsibility. This instruction giver, manager or executive is considered the customer. He is usually the person with the ‘money bag’. There are many different ways for dealing with this customer. Whatever you do make sure you are customer-oriented rather than customer-submitted. Below are a few aspects for interpreting customer-orientation:

 -      Stakeholder analysis: at the start of the project conduct a sound stakeholder analysis. Make a list of parties involved. To what extent will they benefit from the result and to what extent will you benefit from their input. Decide on how to contact the customer, how to inform him or her and which collaboration is the most effective one. Proceed in deliberation with the customer.

-      Force field analysis: conduct a ‘force field analysis’. Besides stakeholders ‘formal interests many units, departments or individuals within the organisation will (wish to) exercise authority. 

-      Priorities: discuss with the customer the ‘adage’ under which results must be delivered. The customer should indicate whether for instance he is more interested in making timelines, delivering 100% quality or remaining within the project budget. One option is to apply the MoSCoW technique prioritising requirements and wishes according to their significance. If things work out well, then you will be able to do (almost) everything. If not, then you can delete the least important requirements and still deliver on time or remain within budget.

-      Expectation management: do not take the customer by surprise. Take him along on your journey, in fact his journey. Showing up on only formal meetings to justify matters is insufficient. Discuss with the customer the subjects discussed in formal meetings. The worst thing you can do is to surprise the customer, in the presence of other people, with setbacks or issues requiring decisions on the spot.

-      Communication: always communicate matters.

 

Collaboration

There is a ‘tough’ side to working together: who is responsible for what and who is authorised to do what. It has a ‘soft’ side too (e.g. manners). Collaboration can be interpreted in many ways. Below are a few aspects that might positively add to working together efficiently:

-      Leadership style: tune your ‘leadership style’ to the maturity phase of your team. More task-oriented directive steering will be required in the initial phase. Focus more on the relationship as your team continues to develop. 

-      Team values: discuss with the team how you will be dealing with each other. What is considered important, what is acceptable and what is not? Write this down and make things explicit. Prepare a shared set of team values. 

-      Discussability: most problems in people’s mind relate to relationships and feelings. The ‘discussability’ and solutions for these problems are usually sought in contents and procedures. Dare to express and discuss these feelings together. This will usually hurt. Consequently, however, and provided feelings are discussed more often, the team will become closer and more effective, trusting each other more and delivering better results. 

-      RACIA: leave no doubt as to who is responsible for what, the related authority and which tasks are to be performed by whom. To this purpose also use the RACIA matrix in which matters are described. Make this explicit and communicate clearly.

 

Leadership & Coaching

Different people means different steering and coaching are required. Different ‘coaching’ styles exist. See also the ‘Coaching Arts’ model.

Bear in mind that coaching can be done in different ways. You may focus on the person/ individual, the group, behaviour or the intrinsic side of the work.

Arrange for sufficient coaching time and do not let it become swayed by the issues of the day. Preferably coach and ´coachee´ will draw up a coaching contract, to make sure coaching is tuned to a certain number of learning objectives.

 

Giving/receiving feedback

Feedback can be given/received both ways, at all levels. The receiving team should consider feedback to be a gift. Feedback can be given at preset times to make sure one has time and tranquillity to absorb matters. Giving feedback means receiving feedback as well.

A few rules to bear in mind:

-      Describe changeable behaviour. Only feedback on changeable behaviour makes sense.

-      Apply feedback to yourself. Something is bothering you or you are experiencing something as most pleasant.

-      Provide examples which you yourself have observed.

-      Explain clearly how you feel about the other person’s behaviour. This can be a positive or negative experience.

-      Provide room for hearing responses to the feedback that you have given.

-      Describe clearly the behaviour you prefer most.

-      Explore options together to achieve matters.

 

Commitment to standards

Results must (usually) meet certain standards. Standards may relate to architecture, security, but also to procedures and working methods. We like to add commitment to the behavioural standard. The latter can mainly be addressed by interpreting the rules for working together and giving feedback.

In advance make explicit which rules and guidelines certain issues must meet. Make sure the parties involved are familiar with, recognise and accept these rules and guidelines.

Steer matters as such to test on a regular basis whether standards are observed.

 

Summarising

The above lines of approach provide a proper guideline for creating a professional working environment in which teams can reach high levels and treat each other with respect. This section only provides a few examples as to interpreting matters. A touch of creativeness will provide multiple options. Addressing these aspects with your team will by definition ensure a more professional attitude towards work.

Good luck on your professional attitude!

 

Related models: 

-   Seven Habits

-   Phases of Team Development

-   Situational Leadership

-   Professional Attitude

-   Conflict Mode Model

-   Principles of Leadership;

-   Manager vs. Leader

-   Cultural Types

-   Leadership and Influence

 

 

 

Sources:

       Wikipedia

       ABNAMRO

 

 

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