Soft Skills

The Hard Truth about Soft Skills

“We’re in a relationship business.” I’ve heard this more times than I can count during the 20+ years I’ve worked with CPAs firms. It’s the one constant in the CPA profession. But, I wonder…have we devalued relationship building? We have access to limitless technology tools as a means of communicating and finding the information and…

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Perceptions of You

What do people really think of you? Do you even care? Do you care too much? Many of the managers and executives I coach and train start off by being surprised and maybe even slightly insulted to think that they need to improve their leadership skills. After all, they wouldn’t have been promoted if they…

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How Do You Show Gratitude to Your Employees?

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Partially because I love to eat, but mostly because it is about celebrating and being thankful for what we have. Each year, I write about some aspect that we can focus on in our businesses and this year, I am choosing to highlight gratitude for your employees. You…

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Improving Your Bedside Manner

We have all been to a doctor that had an impeccable bedside manner and we tend to remember it for a while. Bedside manner is the way a doctor interacts and communicates with us, their patient, and it is most memorable when we have an ailment that is either extremely concerning, painful, embarrassing or all…

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Think Carefully About It! Seven Questions to More Effective Firm Communications

In my work with CPAs, I find that they often struggle to achieve the result they want from their communications.  Too often, firm leaders grow frustrated with the lack of participation, response, or goodwill that important announcements and program roll outs garner and they find that their communications are misinterpreted or misunderstood. If we’re honest…

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Just Ask

The accounting profession prides itself on having all the answers. Do you want to know the depreciable life of a dairy cow? We have the answer. Need to know how to calculate LIFO inventory? We can help. Want to project cash flow for the next 5 years? Give us a call. We have answers. But…

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Can you say that again?

The number one characteristic missing in firm leadership is communication according to over 800 respondents in the CPA Consultants’ 2012 leadership survey. This is very consistent with the employee surveys we conduct and the feedback we hear from accounting professionals in firms across the country. Most of us think that to be better communicators, we…

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Let’s Stop Paying Lip Service to People Development

Yesterday, I had three conversations with leaders of firms in completely different geographies, of a variety of sizes about slightly different, but completely related topics:  a lack of traction in a mentoring program, an inability to get engagement reviews completed and concerns that a partner group didn’t have enough empathy to engage people. In all…

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Three Reasons “Soft” Skills are Hard to Master

We are a profession of technicians. We shy away from soft skills. Historically, we have been drawn to mentors who are more like Star Trek’s Dr. Spock and Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory than touch-feely types like Dr. Phil and Oprah.  We invest the majority of our resources (and CPE credits) in building our technical skills.…

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Make 2013 Your Year to Grow

New Year. New Goals. How will you find growth this year, now that busy season is over and growth season is here? There are lots of new tools out there to help you market your firm and grow your top line, but sometimes the best new tools are the old tools implemented in a different…

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