Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Unhealthy Accountant

Due to the author being under the weather, we'll be back in November! Please "consider" getting your flu shots.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Don't have time to listen to someone? ..... DON'T !!

Have you ever been caught by someone in the hall when you were rushing out the door or on the way to a meeting, or worse yet, right when you are in the middle of doing something? They just need a "few seconds" and need your ear, so you give it to them, and they talk to you right as you may be moving away from them.

What have you done?
(1) You fell for the "few seconds" line! How many things really take a "few seconds"? The interruption itself has already taken a few seconds!
(2) You have reinforced their behavior - if they can find you they can get you!
(3) You have allowed an environment to be created that is less than ideal to truly listen to them.

Now I know sometimes these practices have to happen, but certainly many of them, including the behaviors they reinforce, can be challenged. If you do not have time to fully engage and provide them a powerful listening ear..... DON'T DO IT. Out of respect for them, tell them no, and tell them how they can get your ear (and how you would like to be able to provide them your FULL attention at another time). Better yet, spend some time (later) talking about your communication protocols, boundaries, and needs.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Can an Accountant be "In The Zone?"

I know a lot of accountants who are currently in one of their "busy seasons" until the October 15th deadline. I bet at one point during a very busy time you have felt like you were "in a zone", where time was just flying by and you were getting lots of work done. (despite lots of pressure)

You have probably heard athletes talk about when they are in a "zone" and what they were doing (whether it was shooting a basketball or running a race) came effortlessly .... even though we know a lot of effort was required.

Many accountants will laugh at me when I try and use such an analogy, but it is worth investigating.

Be reflective. Why were you so productive? What did you do? What about your environment did you set up that aided you? What did you "enjoy" about that busy time?

You probably flexed your muscles a bit, and started to reach levels of productivity you either did not think were possible or had not achieved before. Remember you can wait all your life to try and find the most enjoyable thing you can do vocationally; but sometimes just a pursuit of excellence, in no matter what you are doing, can BECOME enjoyable because you are challenging yourself....and you ARE WINNING.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Emoticons versus Body Language

Had a nice conversation today with an avid "learner" in the accounting profession and she mentioned something to me that really hit home ....

Younger accountants (and most professionals for that matter) are not as adept at translating body language as their older colleagues for the simple reason that they do not have as much practice! Think about it -- they have spent much more of their younger years communicating via a computer. They might know the various emoticons well :) :( ;) from their instant messaging communication, but they have spent less time on average talking and communicating with people face to face.

Ensure your younger staff are trained on body language and other non-verbal cues. You have probably heard it can be up to 90% of total communication.

"Listening" to our clients and colleagues is now as important as ever, but to listen you must be able to hear ALL of it. Make sure they know how.