Tuesday, December 27th, 2022

Developing Trust

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare

Over my many years working in public accounting, I have had many conversations about trust. People feel like they DO have trust within their firms. However, when I talk to partner-only groups or talk to CPA team member-only groups, both sides almost always describe activities that display a definite lack of trust.

To help bring it down to real life, here’s an example I hear over and over.

  • Team member: I don’t know when to tell them I’m leaving; I’m not sure how they will react, they might escort me to the door right away, and that would be embarrassing.
  • Owner: When someone gives notice, we usually ask them to go ahead and leave right away. We’re afraid that they will be such a negative influence on everyone around them.

I have seen cases where the team member is right about being hesitant because owners have demonstrated that you can’t predict their reaction. I’ve also seen cases where the owner should be concerned because the team member would probably spread negative vibes on purpose.

Trust is a tough topic, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. I have often found that partners (owners) don’t trust the staff, and the staff doesn’t trust all of the partners. Think about what you can do about this situation as you work your way through busy season.

Talk about it openly and maybe host a round-table lunch and learn where trust is the topic of discussion. Have each table explore ways to build more trust inside the firm and then take steps to implement some of the ideas.

  • "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."
  • Albert Einstein

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