3 Classic communication mistakes accountants make ALL the time
How many of you have issued an email, had a call or meeting in the last month that lead to one of the following:
A total misunderstanding
Frustrated / Angry / disengaged (perhaps literally) client
Questioning your own knowledge/ sanity
Here are a few insights from a speaking coach who knows, I see these happening all the time, and sometimes it's as simple of just being aware - others takes time, practice and experience. A lot like learning to drive, you end up feeling clunky trying to remember the steps, and then one day you're driving and not saying "mirror, signal, maneuver" out loud.
Just wait and see what changes happen to your professional impact when you start thinking of these...
1) Never talking to the WHOLE person
We always forget this one VITAL piece of information when communicating with clients.
We are all HUMAN. And being human, means we all have flaws.
So often we talk to the best version of a person, of course we do. We like to believe the best in them, and also on first impressions - we only see their best professional persona. But we get stuck in this mindset of perfection. It's a TRAP.
Consider their weaknesses, how can you recognise those and address concerns in not only your content, but the way you speak to them.
2) Misinterpreting body language
"If a person is folding their arms they are being defensive".
Heard that one a lot. Even had clients who had price negotiations get out of hand by confusing defensiveness, with physical protection when they were unwell.
Don;t read the room by just looking at body language - there are so many factors to interpret.
It helps for both sides to be thinking clearly, and not making massive assumptions on someone's posture.
You can READ them, but you need to look at the big picture.... voice, tone, breath, facial expressions, and then mix that all in with context.
Nobody said it was easy, but it is powerful when you get it right. Watch people. Look at their feet, which way do they point? Are they towards you or towards freedom?
Also consider the environment. Is it late? Early? Hot? Cold? Think about it. Our surroundings have a huge effect on our body language - otherwise we'd all have magnolia walls.
The point is, it's easy to take body language at face value, but there's a lot to consider underneath it all ( and that's without even mentioning culture).
3) Not preparing... your voice
If I asked you to sprint 500 m right now, could you do it? Ok... put it this way - could you do it and NOT be a sweaty flustered mess at the end?
I'll bet not.
But, what If I gave you three weeks to train, stretch, warm up, practice and build your strength?
But you'd certainly do a better job of it.
Your voice is just the same. It's made of muscular tissue and needs to be prepared, warmed, and stretch.
Yes of course you talk every day. But just because you can WALK does not mean you can RUN. Get what I'm saying?
Warming up, building your articulators, strengthening and warming your voice can have a profound effect on the quality and resource of your sound. Check our my Voice Aid Kit here for a few exercises to help you on your way.
Take the time to stop, evaluate and listen.
Overall, Making sure that you are really thinking and exploring your intentions, and your audience's intentions are absolutely key to effective communication.
If you'd like to explore your communication in more depth - have a look at my upcoming events and webinars on presentation and public speaking.