Attributes of the Helping Professional

Attributes of the Helping Professional

Which attribute is most important?

I find this wheel to be a useful tool for professional reflection and growth.  It begs the question, “Which attribute is most important?”

Of course, I know that all of the attributes are important.  But, if we stop there, we have not really examined anything, and the wheel is just nice graphic and little more.  The real magic occurs when we take the time to really think about out which attribute may be most important.  It leads us to evaluate the importance of each one of the attributes in the work that we do.  It also requires us to think about how families that we work with see us.  We begin to consider how displaying a particular attribute may impact our ability to establish trust with families and ensure the best possible outcomes.

Try this experiment.  Take a minute to think about a helping professional who provides important services for you or a close family member.   You may think about a doctor who provides healthcare when you are sick, a school teacher who works with your child, or some other key helping professional in your life.  Which attribute from the list do you believe is most important for them to display when working with you?  Which attribute, if not displayed, would represent a deal breaker for you?  For example, how would you handle a teacher working with your child each day who is unable to display a basic level of emotional maturity, or a counselor who us unable to display empathy?

Now, think about your work in providing services.  Rank the attributes on the wheel in order with the one that you display most consistently ranked first and the one you display least consistently ranked last.  Thinking about this carefully may take a few minutes.  How do these attributes impact your effectiveness in working with families?  Which attributes were at the bottom of your list?  Are there attributes that you believe you can ignore in your work?  How might displaying all of the attributes help you in your work?


This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on September 4, 2015.

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