Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Relationships Inside Your CPA Firm – Getting Caught In The Middle

Inside CPA firms, people with authority often avoid difficult conversations. You can call them crucial conversations, critical confrontations or even honest performance feedback. If there is something unflattering to say, people often choose to simply avoid it or ask someone else to do it.

An example might be that the firm has a very clearly defined dress appropriate policy, however, Julie constantly ignores it and everyone notices. ┬áBill, a manager, stops the firm administrator in the hall and says, “Did you see what Julie has on today? Could you please talk to her about it?”

I usually find this happens to firm administrators in CPA firms and sometimes to managing partners. It happens to some managers but not all, because there are select people in a firm who seem to have a natural ability to actually talk about the tough issues with people.

What do you do when a “messenger” discusses a performance problem they are having with someone or uses you to complain about another person in the firm?

Delivering unflattering feedback and becoming a problem-addresser rather than a problem-bearer is a skill that can be learned.

Check-out this helpful blog post, How To Respond When Someone Brings You A Problem, on a site called Leadership Coaching, Inc.

  • "Boredom, after all, is a form of criticism."
  • Wendell Phillips

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