Lessons in loving your accountant

Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Accounting Innovation | No Comments


It’s been a while since we’ve chatted but whilst we’ve been offline rejuvenating finance teams, one thing that has not changed is that as a function we are still not loved in finance as much as we should be.

We’ve talked in previous posts about making a great first impression: Smile, make eye contact, be engaging. But first impressions can also quickly lose their impact, especially when there’s no substance beneath the veneer.

Being genuinely likable over the long term is tougher. Building and maintaining great relationships, consistently influencing others in a good way and making people feel better about themselves, those are things relatively few people can do.

But you can, because being likeable is not about how successful you are or how you dress or how you present yourself but really is all about how you behave in your interactions with people.

How can you be more likable, in a sincere and authentic way?

  1. Give before you receive, knowing that you may never receive.

Never focus on what you can get out of it, but what you can provide. Giving is a great way to establish a real connection and relationship, whereas if you focus on what you can get out of the other person it demonstrates that the only person that matters is you!

  1. Listen three times more than you talk

Ask questions, nod, maintain eye contact, smile, frown in both verbal and non verbal ways. This shows the other person they are important and worth listening to.

Listening shows you care a lot more than offering advice does, because when you offer advice, in most cases, you make the conversation about you.

Only speak when you have something important to say – and always define important as what matters to the other person, not to you.

  1. Shift the focus to the other person

No one ever gets enough praise. Therefore one of the easiest ways to be likable is to tell people what they did well.

If you don’t know what they did well? Shame on you — it’s your job to know.

Not only will people appreciate your praise, they’ll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they do. And then they’ll feel a little more accomplished and a lot more important, and they’ll love you for making them feel that way.

  1. Don’t be selective in who you make feel important

Some people tend to save their nice side for people who they think are important and maybe don’t turn it on for people who they believe are beneath them.

Charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or “level,” feel like we have something in common with them.

Because we do. We’re all human.

  1. Remove distractions

There is nothing worse than someone who checks their phone as they talk to you so don’t focus on anything else but them as you can never connect with others if you’re busy connecting with your stuff, too.

Give the gift of your full attention. That’s a gift few people give. It alone will make others want to be around you.

  1. Don’t act self important

The only people who are impressed by your stuck up, pretentious, self-important self are other stuck up, pretentious, self-important people.

The rest aren’t impressed. They’re irritated, put off, and uncomfortable.

And they hate when you walk into the room. This is sadly too often a comment made about finance people – after all we did exams, we work later than everyone else and finance is the most important function in the organisation sic!

Instead be :

  1. Ready to admit your own failings

To be charismatic you need to be genuine. To shown this, be humble, share your screwups, admit your mistakes, and most importantly be able to laugh at yourself.

While you should never laugh at other people, you should always laugh at yourself.

People won’t laugh at you. People will laugh with you.

They’ll like you better for it – and they’ll want to be around you a lot more.


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