• Treating others with respect and courtesy, being honest and responsible at all times
  • Adhering to high standards of integrity and ethics without wavering
  • Dressing, communicating, and conducting myself in a manner appropriate to the setting


What we wear, what we say, and how we act always impacts our message. How we dress, what we do, and how we do it, has an effect on how others receive the information and recommendations that we share with them.

It is a fact that others will form opinions and make decisions about us (and what we have to say) based on our appearance, words and actions in the setting in which they encounter us. The manner in which we present ourselves to others influences what they think of us.

This is not to say that there are specific hard-and-fast rules with which we must always comply. Fashion, communication styles and accepted behaviors are all highly context sensitive. For example, if I see my accountant at a baseball game and he’s wearing shorts instead of a suit and tie, I’m unlikely to think anything of it. However, if he had his shirt off, standing on the top of the dugout, and was drunk, yelling at a concession worker, I would definitely take note.

We may or may not like it, but others see us by what they see.

At Funds For Learning, we are a professional services firm. We want to be seen as professionals. Our work requires knowledge, expertise, skill, effective communication and timely work outputs. What others see when they see us should reinforce these values. This is why we have a standard of professional business attire in our office. This is why our office walls and desks have a professional look and feel. This is why we have on-hold music that is specific to Funds For Learning. None of those items do our work for us, but they impact our work, because they impact how others perceive us.

How do you want to be seen? How do you want others to perceive you? Answer that question, and then consider the role your appearance, words and actions will play in setting those expectations.


Key Words and Phrases

Exhibiting courteous behavior; Conscientious manners; Technical prowess; Expert; Ethical standards; Trained; Experienced; Authority.

Opposite Terms

Amateur; Inexperienced; Dabbler; Non-expert.

GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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