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Describe three characteristics/skills of effective human services professionals and explain why each of these characteristics/skills is important.

Many human services professionals find their work to be enriching, fulfilling, and rewarding. The opportunity to help those in need and to make valuable contributions to improve their lives is what drives many people to pursue a human services profession. For many professionals, making a difference is its own reward.

However, it is important to understand that working in human services professions can be challenging and requires professionals with characteristics and skills that make them effective. An effective human services professional must possess empathy, responsibility, flexibility, and strong communication skills, among other qualities. Additionally, because of the nature of the work—which involves constant contact with people who face challenges and obstacles—human services professionals may at times feel overwhelmed and struggle with stress and even burnout. If this happens, it is important that professionals know how to implement wellness strategies and not let stress or burnout negatively affect their job performance or their commitment to their clients.

To prepare for this assignment:

Review Chapter 6 in your course text, An Introduction to Human Services, focusing on the characteristics and skills of an effective human services professional.

Review the article, “Coping with Job Stress and Burnout in the Human Services.” Consider what strategies—including group and agency-level strategies—would assist the prevention of stress and/or burnout for a human services professional.

Select three characteristics/skills of effective human services professionals, and think about why they are important.

Consider your own strengths and weaknesses as they relate to these characteristics/skills.

The assignment: (1–3 pages)

Describe three characteristics/skills of effective human services professionals and explain why each of these characteristics/skills is important.

Then explain your own strengths and limitations in relation to each of the three characteristics/skills, noting which of these characteristics/skills you excel in and those in which you need improvement or further development.

Finally, describe two wellness strategies (e.g., at the individual, group, or agency level) that might help prevent stress and/or burnout for you as a human services professional, and explain how they would be applied in the human services field.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.


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