Ten Traits of Successful Professionals

Ever wonder why some people seem to quickly rise to the top, constantly receiving accolades, while others seem to be overlooked and underappreciated? What are the traits that truly impress the people around us? And most importantly, are they traits you possess or can cultivate?

For advice we turned to Dave Kahle, The Growth Coach™.

1. Seriousness

According to Kahle, “one of the foundational characteristics of true professionals is: we must be serious about our occupations. In other words, we must understand that our occupations are challenging, and we must be dedicated to succeeding.” We all know people who make light of this requirement. “The job is only a job,” they say. “A means to an end.” If you feel that way, according to Kahle, that’s fine. But that’s not a sign of a true professional.

2. Wanting to Do Better

“Better than what?” asks Kahle. “Better than we did before. Professionals exhibit a never-ending quest to improve their performance in every variable, every project, every relationship and every detail.” Kahle calls this the characteristic of “personal discontent.” That’s not to say we can’t enjoy our success. “But after we’ve congratulated ourselves for our excellent performance, we need to recommit to doing it even better next time,” says Kahle. Professionals always strive to improve.

3. Dealing with the Unexpected

If everything at work always went smoothly and as hoped for, that would be great. But it would also be a miracle. Stuff happens, things change, and the true professional rises to the occasion. They make a new plan, change their direction if necessary and never look back—because that’s the only road to success.

4. Communication Skills

No matter what the industry or job description, communication skills are critical to today’s workplace. Real professionals are clear, concise and confident in their communication skills.

5. Enthusiasm

Our mothers told it to us when we were young, and it’s still true today. Attitude is everything. Those who exhibit enthusiasm for what they do and greet each day with a positive attitude inevitably become our leaders.

6. Helpfulness

Our mothers were right again. Professionals understand that real success in the workplace requires teamwork. So they’re always ready to lend a hand, make a suggestion and offer a compliment when it’s deserved.

7. Taking the Initiative

One of the great strengths of a real professional is taking the initiative to get things done. Words like, “that’s not my job” are not in their vocabulary. They recognize what needs to be done and they take on the task, great or small.

8. Cool Under Pressure

If there weren’t pressure in the workplace occasionally, they wouldn’t call it work. But true professionals never point fingers. They remain level headed and calm, with a cheerful demeanor—even under stressful times.

9. Remaining Focused

True professionals remain focused on the task at hand and the goal ahead. They navigate through obstacles or setbacks but never lose sight of where they’re going.

10. Don’t Follow, Lead

It isn’t always easy to stick your neck out, but true professionals aren’t faint of heart. They analyze the situation and are willing to take new paths and try new solutions. That’s why they call it leadership!

Dave Kahle is a consultant and trainer who speaks from real world experience. Dave has trained thousands of salespeople to be more successful. He's the author of over 1,000 articles, a monthly ezine, and six books. He can be reached at: The DaCo Corporation, 800-331-1287 or info@davekahle.com