I was speaking at a conference for accountants recently on being a brilliant partner.
Part of the talk was about the skills needed to be a brilliant business partner.
In broad terms the skills that contribute to success in my experience are:
Wouldn’t it be great if you were brilliant in all areas? In reality people tend to be stronger in some areas than in others.
As someone who is an accountant you might think that I would be of the view that technical skills were the most important.
Thing is if you are going to be weaker in one skill, I would say it is best to be weaker in the technical skill area.
Now this might seem a little odd. So let me explain my thinking a bit further.
The time when you are most focused on the use of your technical skills is in the early stages of your career.
As you move up the career ladder the business and people skills become more important.
By the time you become a finance business partner you are at or pretty close to a senior level role in accountancy.
At that more senior level what matters is things like:
1. How commercially savvy you are
2. How good you are at building relationships
3. Your ability to influence
4. The way you challenge
5. How you build and maintain trust
6. Whether you listen effectively
7. Your ability to communicate
8. Your professional judgement
None of which are core part of your technical skills.
So next time you are thinking about your own continued professional development, ask yourself are you working on building the skills for a senior level or are you focusing on the skills to keep you in the technician role.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants build their soft skills and carers. He invites you to sign up for his free report where he shares research into what it takes to reach a senior level role accountancy
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 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.