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  • Alexandra Bond Burnett

How accountants can be emotionally strong leaders in a time of change

Updated: May 14, 2020

Your skills as an accountant are being put through the ultimate pressure test. Worrying about your clients, their businesses, being the sounding board, the counsellor, the advocate, the bearer of bad news...

You have a lots of roles to play and it's been concentrated, for now. It's the worst of times BUT... being an eternal optimist and sometimes a realist I truly believe we will also experience the best of times. There will be hope. There will be growth.

You've got to have all the skills in your toolkit to deal with it all. NOT just the analysis.

In 2016 ACCA Global released a skills profile of the future accountant, in their report Drivers of Change and Future Skills. 

  1. Technical and ethical 

  2. Intelligence 

  3. Creative intelligence

  4. Digital 

  5. Emotional Intelligence 

  6. Vision 

  7. Experience 

The report presents these seven areas as the professional quotients that the future accountants need to respond to change. 

The report covers skills your need to cover the changes from 2016 to 2025, but we've accelerated.

The biggest changes you'll see in your lifetime, are happening now.

This week you’ve been on the phone, zooms, webinars, emails WhatsApps... you’re knackered because also you’re adjusting to a new routine. (It is knackering) 

Clients are getting their ducks in a row. Finding their feet, understanding what is happening as the world changes every day. But after next week, things will settle.

What’s going to happen next?

After all the panic and new adjustments and settling in will come the settling in phase. 

The reality of our new reality will hit. 

Novelty wears off, the longer term situation rears its head. 

Fear. Anger. Restrictions. Anxieties grow. 

(Especially if banks aren’t easily lending and pending this evenings announcement... )

And that’s all coming down on you. And you could be feeling ALL of that about your own business. 

Your intelligence, your creativity and vision have never been more needed. 

EQ is based on:

  • Awareness of your own emotions

  • Regulating your emotions according to the situation

  • Empathy and understanding of others

  • Being self motivated

  • Social Skills that build rapport with your employees

Simple ways to help your clients & team (by helping yourself first )

Your own emotions are going to be stress-tested to the hilt, so this first step is massively important.

Reflect on your own emotions and acknowledge them before your conversations. We will be strained, tired and pressurising ourselves, but acknowledging your own emotions helps you to regulate them.

Our voices can often give our emotions aware by snapping, straining, breaking... I call this 'leaking'. If we don't deal with what's going on internally, we can spill this out negatively into our conversations with clients.

It's OK to feel tired, to feel scared, to feel worried or angry. But acknowledge it and own it before it owns you.

Before you respond:

Listen, evaluate and think about the WHOLE client

Think about their perspective... particularly about the fears that are not being said. Then be the best advocate you can be - you clients need you more than ever.

#emotionalintelligence #accountants #strongertogether #communication #givefinanceavoice





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