Predicting is a process used to anticipate certain reactions by trying to understand their underlying rationale and the consequences they may have, not only on individuals and groups, but also on the progress of change. This process is used during the intervention planning phase. For example, when drafting questions, accompaniment providers will anticipate certain answers. This helps them validate the questions and develop subquestions that can be used to spur further reflection and discussion during the accompaniment process. By attempting to answer their own questions, accompaniment providers can also assess the difficulty, clarity, and accuracy of the questions. Predicting can also be applied to tasks that are to be performed, theoretical content to be presented, or the way accompaniment is carried out. The idea is not to influence outcomes, but to ensure sufficient clarity for productive reflection. Predicting promotes adjustments both before and during the process. The accuracy of predictions can be reviewed and validated so that adjustments can be made for future action (for further explanation, see Lafortune, 2008b).
Professional collaboration is the pooling of professional activities to carry out a project or achieve a goal associated with a group or community of practice. It involves cooperation, consultation, and coordination of collective initiatives as well as discussions that lead to group decision making and concerted action. Actions are regularly analyzed and adjusted at the group level in order to share responsibility for implementing change among team members. This form of collaboration is termed professional collaboration because it takes into account the viewpoints that colleagues bring to bear on various practices, discussing them and even questioning them, in a climate of mutual respect and trust. This can imply a certain degree of professional intimacy. Collaboration not only requires that people know their colleagues and partners, but most importantly that they believe in the potential for collaboration. Individuals can contribute to implementing change in accordance with their expertise, field of specialty, duties, and analysis of change. Successful change depends on the mobilization and commitment of all those concerned to ensure cohesion and consistency (for further explanation, see Lafortune, 2008a).
Professional judgment is a process that leads to decision making. The resulting decision takes into account various considerations derived from a professional's expertise (experience and training). This process demands discipline, consistency, and transparency. Rigorous professional judgment is based on principles, policies, frameworks, programs, standards, and regulations that serve as guideposts. When necessary, professionals will justify their decisions on the basis of the objectives pursued or the aspects of their expertise used to reach the decision. Rigorous professional judgment implies being in position to validate and bear out, or review and adjust past decisions.
Faced with a decision, individuals exercise their professional judgment. They exercise it alone, but develop it in a team setting by taking advantage of the insights and expertise of their peers, who validate, endorse, or challenge decisions made in response to new situations by comparing them with situations from their own past experiences. Professional judgment is also used in evaluating and developing professional competencies or in other situations where staff deal with problems that are complex, unusual, or new to them entirely. Situations like these cannot be resolved using tried and true techniques or processes. Instead, professionals must draw upon their expertise to seek out solutions worth presenting for discussion and review so that they can be refined, validated, and improved. By its very nature, this approach strengthens professional judgment and helps them feel qualified to find solutions appropriate to a given situation. They can adjust their actions, referring to input from their colleagues if necessary. Furthermore, transparency in professional judgment assumes the existence of clearly defined criteria and the possibility of reviewing and updating decisions if necessary (Lafortune, 2008a).
Prescribed change aimed at updating professional practices
Prescribed change aimed at updating professional practices is a goal-oriented proposal to modify the way in which certain professional practices are performed. Such change must be solidly grounded to ensure consistency and help foster respect for the proposed changes among those affected. The idea of prescribed change implies a certain obligation. At the same time, flexibility is required when working with people considered as professionals, even though a certain amount of rigor is necessary. This is the opposite of rigidity, which is why it is vital to accompany prescribed change (for further explanation, see Lafortune, 2008a).