We prompted students with the question, “What does Gracious Professionalism mean to you?”.
“Gracious Professionalism is everything that we strive to do as a team. It’s helping other teams when they have questions, helping teammates with their ideas and being nice to other teams at competition.”
“When I think of Gracious Professionalism, I think of being nice and it reminds me that FIRST and robotics should be fun. I love meeting with my team, and our coach always has reminds us to use Gracious Professionalism with our teammates.”
This one is from FIRST itself.
“Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended. In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.”
What one can observe for these descriptions of Gracious Professionalism is that it would be incompatible with a dictionary. In no way can Gracious Professionalism be described in a single sentence, but rather context and thorough discussion is needed to develop an understanding of what FIRST has been able to do with Gracious Professionalism. It embodies competing well with other teams, positively collaborating with teammates, creating beneficial mentor relationships and effectively spreading awareness in regards to the values of FIRST. Gracious Professionalism has spread so rapidly because of its broad definition, it allows students to take Gracious Professionalism for what they think it is, and implement it inside and out of FIRST Robotics.
It is remarkable to study Gracious Professionalism, and see how it has been embraced by students everywhere who have made it what it is today. Gracious Professionalism puts power into the student's hand, and lets them spread FIRST values in whatever capacity they feel is most effective to them. If you remember one thing you have read here, remember this: Gracious Professionalism is a broad and open idea, and it's up to you how it's implemented.
This blog was written by FTC Team 9789, TOXIC. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule.