The “Right Stuff” for 2022 – Does Your Team Have “It”?
In thinking about what we’ve all been through these past two years, there are several character traits that correlate well with moving through trying times more easily than others. Accounting professionals are usually very good at problem-solving and being good with numbers (and using the picture they paint to help clients make better business decisions) is just part of the success profile. There are five personality traits that can give you an edge – we call it “the right stuff” for 2022. The best part is that these skills can be developed at any time in a person’s life.
The first trait is GRIT.
Being “gritty” means a person is willing to work hard to overcome any obstacles they encounter. A person with a high level of grit will persevere and work an issue or challenge from all angles until they succeed. They don’t give up until all avenues have been exhausted, including investing their own time to do deep-level research or to learn a new skill in service to solving the challenge at hand. They also don’t seek reward or recognition for completing a tough task – its a self-rewarding thing instead. If you are a life-long learner, or you have been described as being “determined” or “dogged” you likely have a high degree of grit.
The second is CURIOSITY.
Highly correlated with Grit, people who have a high degree of Curiosity usually weather tough times a bit more easily than people who are less curious. Highly curious people tend not to jump to conclusions – instead, they imagine several ways that something could play out and then they explore the options. Being curious means that less emphasis is placed on an “expected outcome” as opposed to how the outcome could be altered so that the odds are tipped towards a favorable or neutral outcome versus a negative one.
The third is a POSITIVE MINDSET.
Having a Positive Mindset does not mean being “happy all the time”. Instead, people with a positive mindset generally do not feel overwhelmed or daunted when faced with a challenge. Instead, they approach challenges with positive energy, knowing that the issue does have a solution – they just need to find it. The other thing about people with positive mindsets is that this energy tends to be very helpful in a team setting. It’s a bit contagious (in a good way!) As team members see another team member enthusiastically approaching a challenge, it rubs off and everyone tends to problem-solve just that much effectively.
The fourth is RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
People who do well in tough times tend to have a high degree of Respect for Others. They honor their team-mates’ intelligence and capabilities and trust them to do their part to help address the challenge at hand. They don’t feel they have to take everything on themselves, or that the entire solution must rest with them. They listen well, encourage healthy disagreement, and actively seek suggestions from the team. This allows them to involve the team in a way that gets more done and doesn’t rest solely on their own shoulders. Great managers tend to score very highly on this dimension because they trust their team to solve challenges intelligently and diligently, as a team.
The fifth is A SENSE OF HUMOR.
Having a good Sense of Humor, or at least not taking things too seriously, is a fantastic trait to have during trying times. It lightens the mood, builds team spirit, and reminds everyone that while the work at hand is serious, it doesn’t have to weigh everyone down.
As you read the above characteristics, did you find yourself thinking about how you and/or your staff stack up on these dimensions? The great news is that discussing these attributes with your team, or even just being mindful of them yourself, can help your firm get stronger in these areas! And as you grow your team, keep these characteristics in mind and stack the deck in your favor by surrounding yourself with team members who score highly on these traits. You’ll see an immediate increase in morale, productivity and teamwork.
Keeping everything humming in 2022
In addition to considering these five positive personal attributes, you also need systems in place to foster teamwork and ensure that your team is not fighting against data silos or wasting precious time searching for the things they need to do the important work for clients. To see how Liscio can help you create a single source of truth for your client communications, messages, and documents, schedule a brief demo here. All boats rise when the team can work together easily and when clients respond quickly to your requests for information or documents!