Communication Is Key
April 3, 2019
By: Tiffany Whitelaw
It is an assumption that we are all naturally great at communication. After all, every person has been learning to communicate since the moment they were born when they first smiled up at their mom and elicited a smile in return. Advancing in communication is one of the most exciting evolutions as children grow; from when they first recognize a familiar face, to when they learn to read and write. Each step is met with great anticipation by family members surrounding the child. But what more do we formally learn about communication beyond that? Effective communication can increase an individual’s success at home, work, and virtually all areas of their life, yet, learning the art of communication is up to the individual’s ability to proactively seek after those tools on their own.
As a CPA firm, we seek to hire individuals that are not only technically trained, but also possess the ability to communicate well. Good communicators within our firm allow us to share industry expertise in a way that makes sense to the client. It allows us to become partners with our clients and guide them through ever changing environments. A successful partnership is built on trust and exceeding expectations, neither of which are possible without effective communication.
I have been rewarded time and time again in my career and in my personal life for having the ability to communicate effectively. I do not believe that I was born with any special gift to naturally communicate well, but I do believe in working hard and following your dreams. I’ve studied, taken classes, and practiced the things I’ve learned. I’m still learning and fine tuning; I suspect I always will be. One of my favorite books on communication is “Crucial Conversations” written by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler. The authors help identify those crucial moments of life when the ‘stakes are high’ and give you the ability to navigate those conversations with confidence.
Don’t leave your communication tool belt empty. Find a book, take a class, listen to a podcast, and always seek to improve your skills. Learning the art of communication will help you provide better service to your clients and have more meaningful conversations with your children, heck, it may even help your golf game. Well, maybe not your hopeless golf game, but we’ll save the “Stages of Grief” post for another day.