The Surprising Impact Of Relationships On Accountants
Today we’re diving into a topic that often gets overlooked but has a profound impact on accountants: relationships. How are your relationships right now? With your family, your spouse, or your kids? How’s your relationships with your co-workers or your clients?
Whether you’re a seasoned accounting professional, a fresh-faced graduate starting your career, or even an entrepreneur managing your own practice, relationships are an integral part of your journey. From clients and colleagues to partners and loved ones, the connections we form can significantly influence our overall well-being and success.
As accountants, we are often hyper-focused on numbers, deadlines, and deliverables. But have you ever stopped to consider how your relationships affect your ability to perform at your best?
The truth is, relationships play a crucial role in our professional lives. The state of our relationships impact our stress levels, productivity, and even our health.
Think about it for a moment. Have you ever had a difficult client that made you dread picking up the phone or responding to their emails? Or perhaps you’ve encountered conflicts with a team member or employee that affected your ability to focus at work.
These relationship challenges can not only drain your energy but also impact your ability to excel in your role as an accountant.
But it’s not just about work-related relationships. Our personal connections, such as those with our spouses, children, or close friends, can also have a profound impact on our overall well-being. After all, life isn’t just about spreadsheets and balance sheets—it’s about finding fulfillment, happiness, and genuine connection.
The good news is that addressing relationship issues and improving the way we relate to others is a skill that can be learned and applied. By becoming a Smarter Accountant, you can take control of your relationships and create a positive ripple effect in both your professional and personal life.
Throughout this episode I’m going to explore practical strategies and insights that will help you navigate the intricacies of relationships as an accountant. I’ll explain the power of your thoughts in shaping your relationships, discuss how to let go of control and expectations, and empower you to become the driving force behind positive change.
So, whether you’re seeking a harmonious work environment, stronger client relationships, or a more fulfilling personal life, you’re in the right place. Get ready to dive deep into the world of relationships as a Smarter Accountant, and let’s unlock the secrets to transforming your professional and personal connections.
Rob’s story: Relationship issues
To shed light on this topic, I want to share the story of Rob from my book, “The Smarter Accountant.” Rob was a CPA who had a deep passion for his work at a small accounting firm. However, despite his professional success, Rob found himself grappling with various relationships in his life.
It seemed that no matter where Rob turned, there was always some sort of struggle with the people around him. Some of his clients grew frustrated with him because he couldn’t always respond to their emails as quickly as they desired.
His business partner became a source of annoyance due to disagreements over billable hours. Even his wife seemed to underappreciate the hard work he put in, leaving him feeling unnoticed and unacknowledged.
To make matters worse, Rob carried a sense of longing for a closer connection with one of his brothers. They had been inseparable during their upbringing, but over the years, their relationship had gradually drifted apart.
He also felt bad about the contentious relationship he had had with his dad growing up. His dad was a decent provider but was never really there for him in the way that Rob tried to be with his children.
Although his dad passed away years ago, he couldn’t help but wonder if things could have been different between them. He wished his dad had been different and that they could have been closer.
Rob’s story is not unique. Many accountants often find themselves wrestling with relationships, feeling frustrated, unfulfilled, and uncertain about how to bridge the gaps.
The truth about relationships
Whether you’re an accounting employee, an entrepreneur, an introvert, or an extrovert, relationships are an inherent part of life. They form the connections we have with others, and believe it or not, they play a crucial role in our role as accountants.
Relationships not only bring us joy and pleasure, but they also have a profound impact on our long-term health. To be at your best, both professionally and personally, your relationships matter more than you might realize.
On the one hand, a good relationship can trigger our brains to release feel-good hormones like dopamine, which make us feel happy and satisfied. On the other hand, they can also release stress-producing hormones like cortisol, which can lead to anxiety and tension.
The truth is that, as humans, we are hardwired to form relationships with others. This instinctual need for connection and belonging has been ingrained in us throughout our evolution.
From primitive cave dwellers to modern-day professionals, we have always relied on relationships to increase our chances of survival, learn from each other, and support one another for the greater good. In today’s world, relationships remain just as vital.
Whether it’s a personal relationship with a partner, child, or friend, or a professional relationship with a colleague or client, chances are you have a multitude of relationships in your life. And it’s highly likely that not all of them are exactly as you would like them to be.
You may want a less stressful and more connected, supportive, and loving relationship with your partner or spouse. Or perhaps you wish for a more harmonious and collaborative relationship with a particular client or colleague.
Whatever the case may be, ignoring relationship issues doesn’t make them magically disappear.
The impact on your time management
Here’s something interesting to consider: as accountants, we often prioritize improving our time management skills, striving to optimize our calendars and work processes. We meticulously plan our tasks, allocate time slots, and employ various techniques to increase our productivity.
However, what many accountants fail to recognize is the significant influence our relationships have on our ability to accomplish more in less time.
Think about it for a moment. Have you ever found yourself caught up in a conflict with a colleague or client? Maybe there was a breakdown in communication, differing expectations, or unresolved issues.
These relationship challenges can consume a substantial amount of your time and energy. Instead of focusing on the tasks at hand, you end up dealing with tension, misunderstandings, and even arguments, which only further detract from your productivity.
On the other hand, consider the impact of positive relationships. When you have strong connections with your colleagues, clients, and even your superiors, it creates an environment of trust, support, and collaboration.
These relationships foster effective communication, efficient teamwork, and a shared sense of purpose. As a result, you can accomplish tasks more seamlessly, reducing time spent on unnecessary back-and-forth or misunderstandings.
The truth is, the quality of your relationships can either fuel or hinder your ability to work efficiently. When you have positive relationships, characterized by open communication, mutual respect, and a shared understanding of expectations, it creates a conducive environment for collaboration and productivity.
Unfortunately, when your relationships are strained, marked by tension, disagreements, or unresolved issues, it can lead to a significant drain on your productivity. You may find yourself caught up in unnecessary conflicts or spending excessive time trying to manage or navigate difficult relationships.
This not only impacts your ability to complete tasks promptly but also adds unnecessary stress and mental burden, further hindering your overall performance.
So, as a Smarter Accountant, it’s crucial to recognize the far-reaching impact of your relationships on your ability to accomplish more in less time. While time management skills and optimized calendars are important, they alone cannot guarantee optimal productivity.
Your brain’s role in transforming your relationships
Now, let’s dive into a powerful concept that can transform your relationships: understanding the incredible influence of thoughts. It may sound simple, but the truth is that our brains shape our relationships.
Consider this: every relationship you have, whether it’s with a person, a place, or even a thing, is based on the thoughts you have about that person, place, or thing. Your thoughts create the foundation of your relationships.
They form the lens through which you perceive and interact with others, influencing the emotions you experience and the actions you take.
For example, imagine you have a co-worker who consistently challenges your ideas during team meetings. Your thoughts about this individual will shape your feelings and subsequent actions.
If you perceive their challenges as a personal attack, you might feel defensive or irritated, which may lead to strained interactions and unproductive dynamics. However, if you view their challenges as an opportunity for growth and collaboration, you’ll likely approach the situation with openness and a willingness to find common ground.
The key takeaway here is that your thoughts about someone or something directly influence the quality and dynamics of your relationship. This realization is immensely empowering because it means that you have the ability to shape and improve your relationships simply by shifting your thoughts.
It’s important to note that while we often attribute our feelings to the actions or words of others, the truth is that our emotions are generated by our thoughts. The only thing that ever causes you to have a feeling is a thought, not a person or a situation.
We tend to believe that someone else has the power to make us happy, angry, or upset. But in reality, it is our interpretation and perception of their actions that determine how we feel.
This understanding flips the script on traditional relationship dynamics. Instead of relying on external factors or expecting others to change in order to feel better, we can take control of our own emotional well-being by intentionally choosing our thoughts.
Now, you might be thinking, “Does this mean I have to disregard someone’s actions and pretend everything is fine?” Absolutely not.
Acknowledging and addressing behavior that is incompatible with your values or detrimental to the relationship is essential. However, it’s important to recognize that your thoughts about the situation will heavily influence how you approach and navigate these conversations.
The power of thoughts in relationships extends beyond just our interactions with others. It also encompasses the relationship we have with ourselves.
How we think about and perceive ourselves influences the quality of our relationships with others. When we cultivate self-compassion, embrace our strengths, and work on personal growth, it positively impacts how we engage with those around us.
The incredible part is that you don’t need anyone else to change in order to improve your relationships. It all begins with you and the thoughts you choose to entertain.
By taking responsibility for your thoughts, you gain the freedom to shape your relationships in a way that aligns with your values and desires.
The concept of “The Manual”
As I mentioned before, your relationships affect more of your personal and professional life than you might realize. I can tell you from my experience, and the experience of my coaching clients, that putting the effort into understanding how to improve your relationships will improve so many aspects of your life.
When I work with clients on the topic of relationships, the tool I teach them is “the Manual”. Let me briefly explain this concept. Just as we have instruction manuals for various things we own, we also have instruction manuals that we’ve unintentionally created for the people in our lives as well.
We have these unwritten manuals in our brains describing what people should and shouldn’t do because we believe that, if they followed our manual, then we could feel a certain way. Honestly, there’s no shame in having manuals for people because we all have them.
Here are some examples and reasons why we have manuals for others:
Spouse—your instruction manual for your spouse might state that they remember significant dates in your relationship. The reason you have this in your instruction manual is that you believe that, if they did remember a significant date, you would think “He loves me” and you would feel love. But, on the flip side, if he doesn’t remember a significant date, you might think “He doesn’t care about our relationship” and feel unloved.
Boss—your instruction manual for your boss might state that they praise you when you go above and beyond at work. The reason you have this in your instruction manual is that you believe that, if they praise you, then you would think “She really appreciates me” and you would feel appreciated. But, on the flip side, if she doesn’t praise you, you might think “Maybe I’m not doing as good of a job as I thought” and feel unappreciated.
Children—your instruction manual for your children might include them always making their bed every day. The reason you have this in your instruction manual is that you believe that, if they made their beds every day, you would think “I’m doing a good job raising them” and feel proud. But, on the flip side, if they don’t make their beds every day, you might think, “I’m not doing a good job” and feel discouraged.
In each example, you have a thought about them, their actions or inactions, and you feel certain emotions. But, when you base your feelings on whether people follow your manual or not, you are at the mercy of everyone else and are likely to become quite controlling.
The truth is that the only reason you want someone to follow your manual is so that you can feel a certain way. But thankfully, the great news is that you can throw away your instruction manuals because the only thing that needs to change is your thinking—and you are 100% in control of that!
You don’t need anyone to do or not do something to feel a certain way because your feelings were only ever created by your thoughts, not by what other people do or don’t do. That is the best news I can give you.
When you take responsibility for meeting your own emotional needs, you can let go of the need to change what others think, say, and do. It doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t make requests of others but, when you throw away your manual, your feelings aren’t hurt when they don’t honor your request.
Becoming a Smarter Accountant: Improving your relationships
As a Smarter Accountant, you hold the power to transform your relationships. By consciously examining and managing your thoughts, you can create a positive ripple effect that elevates not only your interactions but also your overall well-being.
The secret to taking control of your relationships and cultivating the connections you desire lies in understanding that you are the creator of your relationships, and you have the power to shape them according to your vision.
It’s common to believe that our relationships are determined by external factors—how others behave, what they say, or the circumstances we find ourselves in. However, the truth is that our relationships are created within our own minds.
The thoughts we have about others, the expectations we hold, and the beliefs we carry influence how we perceive and experience our relationships.
This realization is incredibly liberating because it means that you don’t need to wait for someone else to change in order to improve your relationships. You have the ability to initiate the change within yourself, starting with your thoughts and perspectives.
Taking control of your relationships begins with self-awareness. It’s about examining the narratives and beliefs you hold about others and challenging them if they no longer serve you.
Ask yourself: Are my thoughts and assumptions about this person accurate? Are they helping or hindering the relationship? By shining a light on your thought patterns, you can uncover hidden biases or limiting beliefs that may be negatively impacting your connections.
Once you’ve identified unhelpful thought patterns, it’s time to intentionally choose new perspectives. This doesn’t mean denying reality or pretending that challenges don’t exist.
Instead, it involves adopting a more compassionate, open-minded, and understanding approach. It means viewing situations from different angles, considering alternative explanations, and giving others the benefit of the doubt.
Remember, taking control of your relationships doesn’t mean trying to control or change others. It’s about taking ownership of your own thoughts, emotions, and actions.
As a Smarter Accountant, you can apply these principles not only to your professional relationships but also to your personal connections. By adopting a proactive approach and cultivating self-awareness, you can transform even the most challenging relationships into opportunities for growth and connection.
If you have difficulty with some relationships in your life, let’s talk. Schedule a quick, free coaching session with me and I’ll help you understand what to do.
Sweeping relationship issues under the rug, especially as an accountant, isn’t helpful or useful. I can teach you how to improve any relationship.
Just go to www.thesmarteraccountant.com/calendar and book a free session with me.
That’s what I have for you, but make sure you check back each week as I help you go from being a stressed accountant to a Smarter Accountant.
Make sure you go to www.thesmarteraccountant.com and take The Smarter Accountant Quiz. You’re going to want to know if you’ve been underutilizing your accountant brain so that you have a starting point for becoming a Smarter Accountant..
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The truth is that you’re already smart, but this podcast will show you how to be smarter.