How To Be More Confident In Board Meetings As A Finance Business Partner

Many management accountants make the step up to Finance Business Partner.

In the role of Finance Business Partner you have a much wider remit.

You have the chance to make a bigger impact.

All well and good you might think.

There is of course challenges too.

One of these is confidence.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that Finance Business Partners don’t have issues speaking up about money related issues.

They can however lack confidence in meetings with senior colleagues.

Especially when it comes to contributing or even challenging in areas where they are not the subject matter expert.

So how do you overcome this and be more confident in Board meetings.

Observe How Others Operate

Chances are there others in those Board meetings who you respect.  They seem to have a real knack of being confident in just about every topic.

Watching how these people operate, the approaches they use and tactics they employ helps a lot.

You can then take some of the best bits of learning and put into practice to develop your own style.

Take Small Steps

You try something.  It works.  Each success builds your confidence and gives you momentum.

Start making small contributions.

You will be surprised how much different you feel once you get started.

Let Go Of Needing To Be Right

As an accountant you learn a lot.

If you do X you get Y.  It’s very clear cut.

As a Finance Business Partner you are playing your part in delivering results.

Often there is no right or wrong way.

There is no right or wrong perspective.

Just different perspectives.

You may make suggestions. 

Some will be accepted, some will be rejected.

Accept this and let go of needing to be right.

It will free you up and give the confidence.

Don’t Undervalue Your Contribution

It’s the mix of experience, knowledge, expertise and skills that makes a Board or Senior Management Team effective.

Yes you are surrounded by highly talented colleagues.

Equally you have a lot of value to contribute.

Don’t fall into the trap of undervaluing your contribution.

The Bottom Line:  There’s no magic solution to being more confident.  Remember too that no one got more confident by doing something less.  Recognise the valuable and unique contribution you make.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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