Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Are You Easy To Talk To?

Parents and children, especially as kids grow into those middle school and high school years often struggle with talking honestly with each other. Usually it is not something that is causing huge problems yet sometimes it is. If the parents knew the real story, helping the child through difficult situations might be as simple as talking it through.

In families where talking things through and being open and honest have been part of family life since the beginning, it can still be an issue.

These days with so many strong-willed, helicopter parents, I have heard mothers say, “My daughter tells me everything. We have a great relationship” or some similar sentence about a child. It always makes me think back to my own growing-up years. I had a great relationship with my mother. Did I tell her everything? Of course not! Occasionally, my son will still remark, “Mom, I never told you this but back in college we once did…….(fill-in the blank).”

As my son was growing-up, our best conversations happened when we were in the car, alone. It was an easy place to talk, there was no one else to listen to the conversation, there were no interruptions and often my role was just to listen. If I sensed something was bothering him, if I knew about certain situations he was dealing with, I would usually wait a while and then bring it up at a time when we were in that safe place – inside the car alone.

Seth Godin’s post titled, Speechless, notes that unhappiness compounds and if left unaddressed, it turns into frustration and that the solution is fairly simple: address the unhappiness.

As I talk to and survey team members inside CPA firms, I find that they need to talk things through with someone. As I work with firm leaders, I find there are often huge issues that they simply need to talk through.

Dealing with these situations is fairly simple. Talk about it, address the issues. Yet, accountants sometimes struggle with this activity.

Are you easy to talk to?

I hear – the partners are always on the phone, the partners are too busy, the partners are out of the office so much, the partner’s door is closed. Figure out a way to make it easy for your team members (your “office” children) to talk to you.

Perhaps you should take a drive together.


  • "A person's a person, no matter how small."
  • Dr. Seuss

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