By Jim Wong, CPA | July 9, 2014


Clear communication is key to being productive in the work place.

Ask any company in any industry to identify one area that could be improved upon and often times they’ll name communication as a weakness throughout their organization. With the economy improving and hiring increasing, job roles are becoming more competitive, especially within the finance, accounting and IT career space. So, it’s not uncommon for professionals to find themselves working in silos, even to the point where the next department over might as well be in a different company all together. Such types of disconnect can lead to miscommunication, inefficiencies in processes and overall gaps in productivity.

This doesn’t have to be the case, though. There are easy ways to improve communication. Sometimes you just have to go back to the basics and understand your team.

For instance, accounting, finance and IT professionals are typically right–brained, methodical individuals who excel in analytical roles; working closely with details and numbers. They aren’t necessarily outwardly social, or at times, effective communicators. But what happens when these individuals have to interact with other departments, or better yet, present on projects they’ve accomplished or programs they’ve programmed? These instances can pose issues, or worse yet, waste time and money if results aren’t clearly communicated or questions aren’t effectively asked. Therefore, every so often, it’s a smart idea to freshen up on the basics for clear communication.

Leading corporate communications expert Mark Wiskup offers 6 effective communication tips that I’d like to share with you:

1. Be kind, but be direct.

It’s important to be pleasant when speaking with your colleagues, but get to the point quickly and not waste time. Don’t go on and on about any one thing. Get across what you need to say and finish the conversation with clarity. There should be no uncertainty about what is being asked or being told.

2. Slow down.

As simple as it sounds, take a breath and slow down. Most times, we want to get back to business and breeze through what we want to say without making sure the other person understands. Slowing down may seem counterintuitive, but it’ll save time on follow–up questions or missteps in the long run that may take more time to rectify.

3. Have an agenda

Know what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, and what the end action needs to be — before you start the conversation. Having an agenda, even if it’s in your own mind, will help you better communicate to your colleagues and get you the end result that you need.

4. Paint a real–life picture through a past experience or story.

If you’re not sure how to express what you want to say, tell a story. Nothing helps a person build a picture in their minds than hearing a real–life scenario pertaining to their accounting, finance and IT role. This can also educate them on the history of the department or company when hearing stories or situations from the past.

5. Praise less, but with more intensity.

Instead of giving your accounting, finance or IT colleague a blanket compliment, point out one or two specific tasks that they’ve excelled in. This will clearly define for them what they did well and will motivate them to repeat that good performance in the future.

6. Admit when you’re wrong and move on.

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s not about the mistake itself but how you recover once it’s done. Don’t let your pride get the best of you. Admit that you’re wrong. Take full responsibility and then quickly move on. This will shed you in a brighter light with your colleagues and will gain you more respect in the end.

When it comes down to it, it’ll save time, money and energy, especially with accounting, finance and IT professionals, if there is effective communication throughout all departments. Taking the time to work through some useful communication practices can help with productivity in the work place overall.

What do you think about these tips? Do you have any of your own to add? Comment below and let us know! Or, leave a message on our Facebook page.


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