Monday, July 9, 2012

You did what you said you would do

Accountants have so many projects. So many tasks, and so many DEADLINES!  Sometimes we deliver when we say we will. Sometimes we don't, and some people are a lot better at this than others. The ability to execute and be dependable in your execution affects everyone because accounting is a team sport.

One thing I'd really like to see more of .... A leader acknowledging a simple occurrence. Somebody on their team said they would do something by a certain time -- and they did it!
The acknowledgement does not have to be grand.

When is the last time someone delivered when they said they would and you simply .... reminded them? 
"Hey - You told me you would get that report done by Friday and you did. Thanks I appreciate your on time delivery."

And keep doing this. Don't stop. Reinforce the positive behavior. Remind the other person that they simply did what they said they would do. Watch what happens.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do you interrupt when you don't "get it"?

Do you interrupt when you don't "get it"?

Ever been in a meeting where someone used some jargon where you had no idea what they were saying?

When it's a topic you don't know well, or one you feel you SHOULD know well, sometimes it may feel more uncomfortable to say anything. You probably want to say something, you get anxious, but you let it go. Maybe it snowballs because the topic or phrase or idea comes up again and now it's even harder to interrupt.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Many times if you don't "get it", there is someone else in the room who may not either. Sometimes, surprisingly, that may be someone more experienced. Or it may be the "newbie" but they'll love you for it.

It models the behavior for everyone else. People feel empowered when they feel like they can ask "dumb questions" (which really aren't dumb) and group trust can increase.

Communicating "I am not following" or "I did not understand that" may feel like admitting a vulnerability, but that admitting can be a sign of strength, a sign of leadership, and make your meeting more productive for everyone.

One last point. Consider THANKING your colleagues when they do the same to you, letting you know they don't "get" something you have said. Reinforce the positive team behavior.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Decision making is overrated?

We all come across a few crucial times in our life where we feel we have a SIGNIFICANT decision to be made, where our decision will have a major impact on our future. We also face other decisions every single day. If you are an accountant, you are a knowledge worker, and you are paid to make knowledge based decisions. But sometimes we overvalue the importance of many of the decisions we have to make.

Here is what you can do to make decision making less important: DECIDE that you are going to do everything you can do to make it the "right" decision.

You see, you might have to decide between A and B, but it's what you do afterwards in many cases that can make one decision a good one. In fact, maybe either decision "could" be good because you decide to intentionally do what you can to make it a good one.

Make your decisions the right one ... after you have made them!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Being somewhere else, not HERE

So I provide lots of training and speeches and I am notorious for:
  • leaving things behind after my presentation - my clicker, mouse, etc. I have done that more than once.
  • taking things that aren't mine. In Orlando two months ago I actually did not realize I still had a mic on until I was emptying my pockets at the airport!!!
So, why do I do these things? I feel it is because my mind is not settled and I have little awareness of what is going on around me. I am thinking about the past (How did I do? Did they like me?) and I am thinking about the future (What are the people who want to talk to me afterwards going to say? When is my flight?)

Notice a few themes:
  • It's all about me. How am I being perceived? What is going to happen to me? It's kind of a shame because there are potentially rich conversations to be had with people after a presentation. It's hard to listen to others when you are only listening to yourself!!
  • I am thinking about two times - the past and the future.
Of course the "now" is all we ever have! It's interesting how that works -- how much of our mind is preoccupied with the past and the future, but the only time we can be "in" is the now.

Where is your mind today? Where is it right now? What are you missing out on by not being in there "here and now"?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Your opinions are like a ....

Opinions are usually an "answer". Holding your opinion may act, in certain circumstances, like an "invitation".

When I tell you that golf course was terrible or that presentation was great, you may agree or disagree or come somewhere in between, but my expression taints the conversation for most. If I really want to know YOUR opinion, if I want to learn more about how you view the world, my opinion is not near as important as my desire to listen and be curious.

Your opinions are useful. Sometimes they are very needed. Sometimes they are just what IS needed.

Yet sometimes your opinions are like a rear-end. Everyone has one and, sometimes, maybe it's best to just sit on it..... Especially if your goal is to learn about another versus "tell."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Listening when you "talk"

So, if you have been reading this blog for a while you can probably tell that "listening" has been a topic discussed many times and the challenges that go with trying to be a deep, strategic, results-based listener are MIGHTY.

Part of the reason why listening is such an underrated skill (and great opportunity) is that we do not realize how much we have to do it. So when you are talking, when you are up in front of a group and you are the speaker, does that mean you can turn off your listening radar?

Actually it is quite the opposite. You need to listen when you speak. You need to be in tune with your audience in such a way that you can react and respond to all the signals they are sending, even when it might seem like it's difficult .... when you are worried about what YOU will say. We'll focus on this mighty challenge in future blog posts.

First, start with a little awareness by answering one question: What do people who are good listeners "do" while they are speaking to prove their continual listening??

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thought to "CPA" parents

For those readers that are parents, I wanted to mention a thought I had that hit me hard. Maybe, just maybe it will resonate with you. It seems, based on my limited reading and personal reflection that a child you have is going to pick up some (but definitely not all) of your characteristics. Since we don't really have control over which ones, might as well try to live our core convictions as best we can. And it's not just as simple as doing it at home. We need to do it throughout our life, including in the workplace. We can't be one person in one domain and then "turn on" another person when we come home. Think about it. Your core convictions (your heartfelt values) should be about what is most important to you, but your kid(s) are always watching. What do they see?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Without a documented goal, you may stand still

Have you heard that you are three times more likely to obtain a goal if you simply write it down? Why is that?

  • It reminds you of what you want. It is easy not to do something you are NOT thinking about very often.
  • It forces you to "see" it and then you will probably want to "plan" it and "act" on it more.
  • In a small way, writing it down makes it more of a commitment - not just in your head, but now it's out there!

Think about it this way, if a goal IS VERY IMPORTANT to you, why wouldn't you do whatever you can to make it part of your "dashboard" and make it more a part of your daily thinking and "doing"?

You are driving the car, and its your goals that should be helping you push on the gas.