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Characteristics of Effective Speech-Language Pathologists

If you are interested in pursuing a career in speech-language pathology, you may be wondering what personal characteristics and attributes speech-language pathologists (SLPs) need to be successful beyond possessing the knowledge and skills specific to the profession. Professionals in our field have discussed this topic over the years and agree that successful SLPs:

  • Communicate effectively in both oral and written language.
  • Use appropriate nonverbal communication.
  • Demonstrate effective organizational and time management skills.
  • Have strong reading, writing and cognitive abilities.
  • Have physical stamina to meet the demands of the work day.
  • Maintain good physical health, grooming and self-care.
  • Maintain good mental health and manage stress effectively.
  • Have hearing acuity sufficient to identify, discriminate, and understand speech.
  • Have visual acuity sufficient to identify anatomic structures, discriminate imaging findings, evaluate clients comprehensively, and implement treatment plans.
  • Evaluate their own performance independently and make changes as needed.
  • Identify their own learning needs and seek new learning opportunities on an ongoing basis.
  • Respect and treat equally individuals with cultural and personal differences.
  • Collaborate with others to effectively serve all clients.
  • Exhibit appropriate professional conduct in all professional situations.
  • Enjoy working with people and display genuine compassion and empathy.
  • Possess honesty, integrity, and a willingness to uphold the ethical standards of the profession.

In addition to these general attributes, each graduate program has a core set of values that makes it unique. So, you may be wondering what it takes to be a successful student in the Communication Disorders graduate program at Georgia State University. Based on our experience with many graduate students, successful students in our program:

  • Engage in active listening and ask questions when they don’t understand.
  • Demonstrate good problem solving skills.
  • Understand that evaluating and treating clients requires a high degree of critical thinking.
  • Welcome and seek new learning opportunities.
  • Exhibit exemplary speaking and writing skills in English.
  • Fulfill commitments on time and with accuracy.
  • Take responsibility for their actions and behaviors.
  • Demonstrate maturity and professionalism in everything they do.
  • Strive to do their best work the first time.
  • Respect the values, interests, and opinions of others.
  • Accept and use feedback and constructive criticism to learn and improve their performance.
  • Engage in on-going evaluation of their knowledge and skills.
  • Embrace opportunities to work with a diverse population of clients, fellow students, faculty members, and professionals.