Six habits of successful conversationalists
Holding a good conversation is an underrated, but required, skill in our industry. This separates good advisors from excellent coaches.
It's easy for accountants to fall into an advisory rut, cutting to the chase, always giving the answer - delivering advice based on experience and knowledge. While this will always be a necessary part of our role, if we don't vary our approach we can miss vital opportunities to help and add further value. After all, clients are individuals with unique situations and needs.
1. Listen more than you talk.
2. Limit interjections based on your experiences.
3. Admit what you don't know.
4. Be well read.
5. Look for cues.
6. Let go of unnecessary detail.
It's annoying when someone derails a conversation by struggling to recall a name or a date that's not crucial. Avoid verbal clutter - it can dilute your message. Quality versus quantity, less is more, and get to the point.
There are numerous studies linking empathy with effective leadership.
Harvard Business Review explains that 'empathic listening builds trust and respect… [and] creates an environment that encourages collaborative problem-solving.'