In many instances where there is a discussion on the professionalism exhibited by workers in executing their job, the tendency is to focus on white or blue collar workers. Immediately, teachers, doctors, lawyers, policemen, fireman and public officers are the targeted groups.
It ought to be noted that when it comes to work, professionalism has no boundaries. In every aspect of work life, employees or those whose services are engaged on a contractual basis, are expected to follow the defined standards, principles, policy guidelines and practices associated with the vocation or discipline in which they work. They are also required to manage sensitive information, and take on board their ethical and moral responsibility.
It is necessary to inform and/or remind those who work in or for an organization or enterprise, of the need to develop and maintain their professional expertise, to adhere to a moral, ethical and professional code of practice, have and maintain an awareness of their individual limitations to scope of practice, and commit to working within the defined regulatory framework of personal and professional standards.
It is expected that the scope of practice will among other things dictate that individuals are respectful, decent, honest, not offensive, biased nor discriminatory in their actions. It is the norm to have standards varying in areas of work life, but in all cases, these general principles will remain applicable. There should be no doubt that professionalism means more than having a body of knowledge. Whilst expertise is important, every worker needs to demonstrate his/her competencies, and should pay close attention to their honesty, integrity, the image they present of themselves, and their ability to be accountable.
Having presented some of the requirements and attributes that denote the practice of professionalism, those who listen to local and regional cricket commentaries must be appalled at the lack of professionalism exhibited by some of those who are acclaimed as leading commentators and comments personalities.
The resort to discussing the personal affairs of individuals, including their finances, property ownership and the like, rumor mongering, being openly critical of players and officials, and washing dirty linen in public just for the sake of engaging in a discussion, is simply disgusting and is to be abhorred.
This approach distinctly highlights the limitations of these offending commentators and comments persons, who clearly lack the skills and competencies required to do an effective and efficient job. It is unfortunate that the listening public has to put up with this substandard act of professionalism.
What is being experienced today is an injustice to the legacy of cricket commentators in the persons of the late John Arlott of England and Tony Cozier of Barbados. It would be to add insult to injury, if any of the current West Indian cricket commentators were to be compared with or placed in the same category of legendary Tony Cozier and Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira.
If the bar is to be raised by all to improve on the shortcomings of their professionalism, then there first must be an acceptance that being a professional in the chosen field means much more than having some form of paper qualification, or personality recognition in the field of journalism or radio broadcast.
Most importantly, it must be understood that professionalism also has to do with how you conduct yourself during your business affairs. As far as cricket commentary is concerned, it is simply more than the ability to talk and roll out statistics.
Workers are reminded that professionalism is all about their conduct at work, and that as a true professional, they need at all times to demonstrate the good qualities and attributes which they possess.
(Dennis DePeiza is a labour management consultant with Regional Management Services Inc. Website: www.regionalmanagement services.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)