Listening: How a Conversation Works

Man in business suit listening attentively to coworkerIt’s the best way to create a sense of trust.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

You have probably heard the aphorism, “God gave you two ears and one mouth, so you should be listening twice as much as speaking.”

MORE: Make News, Not Noise | Have a Real-Life Conversation | Is Your Message Open to Interpretation? | Why Proper Communication Is Critical | How to Create Effective Internal Communications | Trust Is a Key Organizational Ingredient | Real Influence Vs. Immediate Gratification | 4 Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

It, therefore, stands to reason that if you intend to listen, you should know how to manage a conversation. One of the quickest ways to create an obstacle to a two-way conversation is beginning a sentence with words that will elicit only a “yes,” “no” or “I don’t know.”
READ MORE →

Make News, Not Noise

How to convince journalists to share your message.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.” – Benjamin Franklin

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

We are constantly frustrated by how much email enters our inbox daily.

MORE: Have a Real-Life Conversation | Exchanging Knowledge Has No Downside | Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy? | Syncing Up for the COVID Era | Profit Is Not a Mission | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive?
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But think about reporters and editors; they will receive hundreds of news releases every day.

READ MORE →

Have a Real-Life Conversation

two masked people in a line outside a shopThink about where authenticity begins.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Making memorable presentations requires being authentic. The noun version, authenticity, is something we pine for these days. Whether from our political leaders, bosses, colleagues or friends, authenticity, like reputation, is an important attribute to have.

MORE: Exchanging Knowledge Has No Downside | Take That Extra Breath with Email | Effective Communications in the Age of COVID | The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | There Is No Leadership Without Integrity | Influence, Don’t Manipulate | Getting and Keeping the Best: The Struggle Continues | Knowledge Maintenance: Gaining Employee Buy-In
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

How we communicate in the workplace or in social settings is influenced by constant rings of email notifications or texts. There is a compulsion on both sides for rapid responses, which does not allow for the careful exchange of ideas or answers.
READ MORE →

Exchanging Knowledge Has No Downside

Portrait of investment advisor businesswoman sitting at office in front of computer and consulting with young professional man.Welcome to the business version of “sharing is caring.”

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Some people believe that knowledge is power, and the more of it they hoard the more power accrues to them. Regardless of what level you are in your organization, the more open communication you encourage, the better you and your company will perform.

MORE: Take That Extra Breath with Email | Is Your Message Open to Interpretation? | Why Proper Communication Is Critical | How to Create Effective Internal Communications | How to Select Your Firm’s Board | Trust Is a Key Organizational Ingredient | Real Influence Vs. Immediate Gratification | 4 Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction | Retention Starts with the Hiring Interview
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I have found in many work environments that what results from the perceived “power trip” someone derives from keeping things “close to the vest” is more backbiting and a greater misalignment of strategies.
READ MORE →

Take That Extra Breath with Email

Man staring at computer screen in shockA quick reply isn’t always the best move.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Email has proven through the years to be a convenient and efficient communication tool in business and in personal life.

MORE: Is Your Message Open to Interpretation? | Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy? | Syncing Up for the COVID Era | Profit Is Not a Mission | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated | How Engaged Are Your Employees?
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But it can also create misunderstandings, conflict avoidance, a desire for immediate gratification (aka rapid response), and a way to defer answering a question, taking action, and avoiding commitments.

READ MORE →

Judy Trepeck on How to Think Beyond Accounting, with Steven Sacks

Clients need so much more than basic accounting & write-up.

^ Click to play the video

With Steven Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Armed with the latest technologies, accountants can do more than ever – faster, better, and cheaper. But too many accountants are missing the biggest opportunity that technology creates, according to Judy Trepeck, long a leading figure in the profession.

MORE from STEVEN SACKS: Bill Reeb: New Rules for the COVID Era | Is Your Message Open to Interpretation? |  Effective Communications in the Age of COVID | Why Proper Communication Is Critical | How to Create Effective Internal Communications | How to Select Your Firm’s Board | Trust Is a Key Organizational Ingredient | Real Influence Vs. Immediate Gratification | Fake It ‘Til You Make It: An Ultimate Goal? | 4 Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction | Have You Gauged Your Staff’s Enthusiasm? | Why Knowledge Maintenance Is Key
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

In her conversation with Steven Sacks, Trepeck, currently senior vice president for customized training at the Michigan state CPA society,  outlines how CPAs can go beyond basic accounting to provide more value-added services. It requires experience, talent, ambition, and, maybe most of all, intuition.


^ Click to play the podcast

Trepeck provides a framework for any accountant to add advisory services to their menu of offerings.

Some of the key takeaways and the full transcript:

READ MORE →

Voicemail Still Serves a Purpose

Businessman sitting behind his desk in the office talking on a mobile phone listening to the conversation with a serious expressionWhat message are you sending?

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Even though email (and texting) has become the primary tool for organizational communication, the proper use of voicemail still plays an important role in conveying or eliciting information.

MORE: Is Your Message Open to Interpretation? | Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy? | Syncing Up for the COVID Era | Profit Is Not a Mission | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive? | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated | How Engaged Are Your Employees?
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

As with email, you need to explain in your message what you are seeking (spelled out in the subject line of email) or information you are providing. The first thing is not to think that someone recognizes your voice; you should give your name and who you represent if calling someone outside your organization. It also helps to let the other person know when you called and when you might be available to speak, especially if you are in a different time zone.
READ MORE →

Avoiding Death by PowerPoint

Businesswoman giving presentation at meetingLet the spotlight be on you.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Have you ever attended a conference where the presenter plans to supplement his or her key topics by showing an illustration of what is being currently said? Do I look at the speaker or do I look at the slides? Will the slides be available later or should I take notes now? Should I move up 50 rows so the microscopic wording improves to the level of barely readable? Can I ask the speaker to back up a couple of slides?

MORE: How to Think Beyond Accounting with Judy Trepeck [Video and Podcast]Bill Reeb: New Rules for the COVID Era [Video and Podcast]Is Your Message Open to Interpretation? | Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy? | Syncing Up for the COVID Era | Profit Is Not a Mission | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive? | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Whenever I give presentations I try to put myself in the shoes of the listeners and create a presentation in a way that relies on them briefly glancing at the slide transition and then redirecting their full attention back on me. But what we see today is too many speakers just reading what appears on the slides. They should simply begin their session by saying, “I’ll read out loud and you’ll follow along silently.” Thank goodness there was never a request made for responsive reading.
READ MORE →

Is Your Message Open to Interpretation?

Young concentrated businessman writing notes down and looking at laptop in officeWhat you say may be turning people away.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Whether you are a professional services firm, business, or trade or professional member association, it does not serve your constituents well if you allow complacency to settle in your efforts to meet their needs. Messaging is important; empty messaging is lethal. When your priorities, programs and services are geared toward what you want your practice or association to do rather than what clients or members need, you create an irreparable disconnect.

MORE: Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy? | Effective Communications in the Age of COVID | The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | Does Your Firm’s Board Know Its Role? | Are Executive Performance Reviews Dangerous? | There Is No Leadership Without Integrity
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The result? There is a vast divide between management’s message and the clients’ or members’ interpretation.
READ MORE →