What are three prominent characteristics of a human service professional?
Human Service professionals are individuals who dedicate themselves to work in areas such as social work, hospital care, counseling, and any other field that requires human agency as a factor for change. Often, human service professionals serve as assessors, mediators, preventers, and as channels of communication. They are key professionals because they need to have the skills necessary to earn the trust and openness of those whom they serve. They also need to be ethical since the information that they work with is often highly sensitive or classified. Therefore, there is much to admire from HS professionals, particularly, the fact that although most of their jobs stem from conflicts, issues, problems, or negative situations, they still manage to be outstanding problem solvers.
The most salient traits of HS workers are: a) their intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, b) their ability to maintain calm even when faced with irate or complex individuals, and c) the extraordinary ability to problem solve. Intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences consist on the ability to recognize and effectively assess the emotional affect of others. It also entails knowing how to communicate effectively, how to earn the trust of others, how to say the right thing and the right time, and the ability to understand people in general since the HS professional can connect with just about everybody.
These intelligences also help the HS worker to cope better in difficult situations. As a worker of the people and for the people, the HS professional has to deal with all types of personalities. Whether soft-natured or abrasive, the quality of service has to be given equally to all individuals despite of their affect. A good example is a social worker worker who has to deflect a pattern of dysfunctional communication. Although none of the arguing parties will want to get advice as to how to move away from a negative area, the social worker uses unique skills to intervene, penetrate, and transform the situation. For this reason, HS professionals also stand out as excellent problem solvers.
The ability to problem solve involves looking at one problem from a diverse point of view until a solution can be reached. Since human nature is so complex, it takes very little for just one individual to create a very bad situation. The HS professional looks at ways to go around the complex and go back into a situation using common sense. An example of a HS professional in a situation where problem solving is of essence occurs whenever there is a conflict where an advocate has to be called in. It takes talent to look at every detail of a conflict, and it takes skill to take out the energy out of the situation so that it can be dealt with objectively. However, those with a true vocation toward working well with others will have no problem getting around whatever means it takes to solve a problem effectively.