Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
Silence Is Often Not Golden
“Organizations are destroyed by behaviors that should be confronted but are condoned by silence.” – Dan Rockwell @leadershipfreak
I have often operated by that old phrase, “Silence Is Golden”. There were just times when it was very appropriate, in my opinion, to say nothing. For instance, when someone was very angry.
I have also often operated by another old phrase, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. That advice came from my mother and maybe from Thumper.
Communication is a difficult subject and a constant struggle inside many busy accounting firms.
However, never forget – You owe people feedback. You owe your partners feedback. You even owe your bosses feedback.
You should be comfortable speaking up immediately when you notice someone doing something wrong. Many “bosses” in CPA firms seem to have missed this message.
- A partner notices that Judy is not following firm procedures, yet the partner saves up constructive feedback until there is a performance evaluation meeting or exercise.
- Joe is new and struggling with some tax preparation issues. The manager is aware but is silent and instead writes 57 review notes.
- Most of the partners notice “things” that should be addressed with a staff person or an admin team member and rather than address it on the spot, they ask the firm administrator… “Can you talk to Sally?”
- Ted, tax partner, is what we call a “wild card”. The partners are even concerned about how he might be advising clients. Nothing is said.
Yes, you can bring a lot of negativity into the work place by saying too much, talking too much and whining too much. However, there are many times when inappropriate behaviors need to be addressed.
- "Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud."