Attention All Professional Service Providers: As a Life Coach to Shareholders and Leaders of the accounting and legal professions, I have been privy to many honest, open conversations over the last few weeks that you will find very interesting and surprisingly HELPFUL to help you navigate the emotional roller coaster ride that this outbreak has caused for us all….. here are the five most insightful and revealing things that you should understand, in my opinion:
Lack of Control / TRUST – The most common themes of my conversations with you is your lack of acceptance that this is really NOT tax season… (CPAs, you haven’t really been getting that, you know…) and you all have grave concerns about your employees not coming into the office – your objections are “If they’re working from home, how can I know they’re really working?” You are struggling with no employees in the office on Saturdays; that some of your staff really want to come to the office and others don’t – you GET it, but you are VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. When we peel back the layers of this, we reveal a lot of uncertainty…. You will have to figure this out for yourself – by understanding and embracing the essence and the nuance of what lies behind your feelings – which I suspect are distrust and lack of control. Well-formed outcomes are around work that gets done and conversations still happen – but the means to that end have changed. Many of you are coming to understand and overcome these fears with my asking a question that is something like, “But if you can’t actually be in the same room with that person – because you are sick or they are sick – then how else might this be achieved?” And then wait and listen … you are smart folks – you always come up with the something that makes you feel better. This is very emotional, please realize this – it’s stuff deep down that you will need to address and “clear” in order to make room for the “new normal”.
Inability to See the Bigger Picture – you will need to look past this outbreak …. In order to prepare for what is coming down the pike. PLEASE communicate with your clients and be mindful to better prioritize what is really important – and in which order things should be tackled. And then learn from this so you can apply it to the ongoing seasonal pressure that has been plaguing these professions for …. well, forever? This too can change! (It already did!) You are best served to force yourself to look ahead to when things settle down and try to predict how it will resolve so you can figure out what options should / could be different – dare I say better…. For administration staff who are working from home, be innovative about different things that can help you with – such as research and writing, editing / proofreading, checking in with clients on your behalf, etc.Read on:
Get Out of Your Head – and your own perspective. Those that cannot have an “out of body experience” in order to become that manager or the small business owner client you are working with (I know – this part can be a little scary – but so helpful) so you can relate to them and truly understand what they are actually going through – face their issues as if they are your own and ask yourself: who and/or what do I need to do in order to figure this out – to maintain my revenue – or recoup what has been lost (or what might soon be lost). PLEASE don’t send out a broadcast e-mail to your clients with another link to a website that outlines the economic stimulus package or offers a link to apply for a small business loan – trust me we small businesses ARE watching the news – we get it! Tell us something that we really need to know – tell us what no one else is telling us! Do segment your clients by niche / industry and address those individual concerns – empathize, empower, advise and instruct.
Understand the Impending Trickle Effect of this “Hard Hit” Economy – – no one should sugar coat this one and so I won’t … so gulp and get ready to hear … this crisis will be a purge on many levels – just as pandemics will sadly take the lives of the sick and the weak, it will also catapult us into a technological future that was only just a short time ago being imagined – ready or not, we will find that we are able to achieve things that we truly did not believe possible – it will be hard but ultimately very rewarding. We must be realistic and focus on the “A” employees – we will realize right away those on our team who are truly ready, willing and able (especially without the distractions of chit chat, and idle gossip) to step it up and optimally perform and we will more poignantly discern the workers from the slackers. We will also find the same with our clients. We have always known the relevance of ranking our clients “A”, “B” and “C” (forget about firing the “D” clients that haven’t paid you in 4 years) and now this will be EASY. Most of all, remember that the “B” and “C” clients of your bigger competitors will be ready to come on board late Summer – through end of 2020. So, get ready now with those target lists and messages / stories to tell – use referral sources and target organizations to get the message out – start sooner than later.
Embrace An Alternative Perspective – Please remember that everything here on planet earth has an opposite / mirrored reality – ebb and flow, night and day, glass half full / half empty – how you see your life and professional experience is absolutely impacted by the feelings and emotions you have about your fundamental self – if you believe things will be okay, then they will – wait….they already are! If you worry about the future or fret about the past you lose the only one thing any of us really have – and that’s the here and now moment (God, if I had a dollar for every time I said that one!)
Please remember that this too shall pass – and when it does, we will have lots more wonderful options that can improve and enhance our life experience – such as telemedicine, cost effective online education degrees, more time and energy – and less pollution – as a result of working from home and more support for work – life fit which is flex time!
The world can be a beautiful place – and I smile when I hear from you that are taking your eye off the news once in awhile to look out the window and see the sky or take that walk and listen to all the birds…. This is GOOD.