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PD Pathways is a monthly digital newsletter for CPAs and business professionals, showcasing the latest news and resources in CPABC Professional Development.
The Future of Work Depends on Emotional Intelligence
By Carolyn Stern, originally published on carolynstern.com
The norms of the workplace have changed drastically over the last couple of decades and COVID-19 has accelerated that process, leaving everyone to wonder what the future of work looks like.
The future of work depends on developing leadership with emotional intelligence. Once leaders accept these new circumstances, and develop more present-day practices and attitudes, employees will feel cared for, and retention, engagement, and productivity will follow.
Creating Emotionally Intelligent Norms
Emotions have made their way into the workplace, and lately, people are experiencing more of them! No one can simply flip a switch and turn off their loneliness, stress, or anxiety once they start their work day. It is a myth that mixing emotions into the workplace has a negative effect on the culture or productivity. In fact, Liz Fossien, co-author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller, No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work, states “in the moments when our colleagues drop their glossy professional presentation, we are much more likely to believe what they are telling us. We feel connected to the people around us. We try harder. Perform better. And we are just generally kinder. So it’s about time we learn how to embrace emotion at work.”
During this time of world-wide despair, and lack of social connection, people are needing to embrace emotions more and more. So, how do leaders of an organization create norms that allow employees to respectfully express their emotions in the workplace? The key is – leaders need to go first. They need to step out their comfort zone and be the first to admit their vulnerabilities, and open the conversation to a deeper conversation beyond the agenda for the meeting.
If leaders can unveil their own humanness, employees will feel more comfortable and connected to their superior, as well as their work. It can be as simple as removing your virtual background to show your messy office, allowing furry friends to join meetings, or having 5 minutes to get up and stretch during long meetings (who cares if you’re wearing sweat pants below your blouse and blazer!). Even starting the meeting off with a simple “How is everyone feeling?”, can open the opportunity for an intimate conversation beyond the usual “how was your weekend?”, water-cooler chatter that was going on before.
By taking the corporate pressure off even slightly, it helps build a more empathetic workplace culture. When leaders show that they genuinely care about their employees, and move from employing to empowering their organization, the future of work suddenly won’t be so scary.
Lights, Cameras, Action
Empowering and engaging employees has become a new obstacle for leaders, but it’s time to stop using it as a crutch to a poorly engaged workforce. It’s time to move into the stage of acceptance, and learn how to truly engage with the virtual workforce. Now that leaders are being exposed to their employees’ home-life through virtual work, the intimacy of the conversations has actually increased. Leaders just need to pay attention and communicate with intention.
First of all, cameras need to be on. By making it standard to have your camera on the entire meeting, with no judgement, people will start to feel more comfortable with presenting, engaging, and communicating virtually. With cameras on, people will be able to pick up in their peers’ emotional cues. Creating a norm of putting people out of their comfort zones can help break the uncomfortable barriers that come with virtual meetings.
Further, by having cameras on, it is inviting their peers into their home! This provides a chance for leaders to connect with employees and inquire more about the employee as a not only someone who works with them, but as a person with a life outside of work. It is as simple as focusing on the employee as a human. Maybe, one of the employees has a guitar in the background, and a peer shares the same interest. Now, those two employees are connected not only on a project they are working on together at work, but a personal commonality.
Know Your Audience
When leaders become more emotionally invested in their workplace, it allows them to become more aware of the individual and collective struggles their employees are going through. Leaders need to use their EI skills to adapt to all the changes that are coming to the workplace. There are four key components of emotional intelligence that leaders need to instill into their workplace culture.
By empowering employees to be more empathetic, it will create a culture of understanding. All different levels on the corporate ladder are facing different challenges. Some people cannot grasp the technological expectations. Others may have to home-school their children. Maybe one of your employees lost a family member to COVID-19. By constantly checking in with each other, people develop a level of patience and kindness for their peers. When empathy is reciprocated throughout the organization, people will not hesitate to pick up the slack for a colleague having a bad day, because they know it will be paid back in the future. Empathy is the main component to knowing the audience of the workplace, and putting each other’s wellness as a top priority.
2. Social Responsibility
Being socially responsible means caring about others and contributing to the community in which they live, the organization in which they work, or the people which they lead. In essence, it means giving back. Leaders cannot individually take care of an entire organization. That is why instilling social responsibility, and helping others, into the culture of an organization is essential. Right now, people are looking for support beyond general workplace tasks. Leaders need to create a safe place for employees to connect, and support each other and eventually a chain reaction of kindness will flow through on all organizational levels. A key element of personal social responsibility is endeavouring to have a positive impact on others and the environment. By recognizing that our every action and utterance impacts those around us, we become more conscious of our words and actions and therefore are more likely to act in a socially responsible way.
People are well aware of the negativity going on in the world, they do not want to hear about it in the workplace. Everyday people are subconsciously doom scrolling on social media – and being exposed to endless negative online news. It is vital to navigate through these conversations with positivity. For example, ask questions about their day, weekend, family, upcoming celebrations, etc. Leaders need to show their employees that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and this too shall pass. By supporting the needs of the organization, universally or individually, it helps bring positivity into the workplace and makes working a happy escape. Optimistic people tend to expect good things to happen and anticipate the best positive outcomes in any situation. So, as dim as the news may appear, be the leader that trusts that things will turn out well.
4. Flexibility & Stress Management
Everyone handles their stress differently, and leaders need to acknowledge that everyone is adjusting in their own ways. Adapting to peoples’ individual needs is essential. It is important to understand the subtle cues employees are giving off when they are stressed and also appreciate their boundaries. Offering a helping hand or resources to help employees get through these difficult times can exponentially help employees feel more valued at work. Two-way communication is essential in making sure the stress of the organization doesn’t affect the productivity of work, and people are getting the individual support they need to keep stress down, and stay engaged at work.
Investing in Your Emotions
When leaders invest in their own emotional intelligence journey, it helps them to create a safe place for their employees to express, communicate, and feel their emotions without judgement. Emotional intelligence can be learned, developed and enhanced. It’s time to open the door to emotionally intelligent leaders, and foster a culture of acceptance, empathy, and care. The future of work is in the hands of leaders to show their true selves behind their corporate mask that has been on for far too long.
Carolyn Stern, a professor with the School of Business at Capilano University, pioneered the integration of Emotional Intelligence into Capilano’s curriculum. An Emotional Intelligence and leadership development expert, Carolyn combines real-world experience as both a business leader with more than two decades as a trainer and educator. Her company, EI Experience, provides leadership development and emotional intelligence training for all management levels and businesses of all sizes and scope. Since launching EI Experience in 2017, Carolyn has helped more than 20,000 business leaders leverage their emotional intelligence skills to connect with their diverse workforce and develop high-performing teams. She is also the author of The Emotionally Strong Leader: An Inside-Out Journey to Transformational Leadership
Elevate your leadership skills with Carolyn and gain a deeper understanding on how your emotions impact your workplace behaviours at our upcoming Executive Program on Leading with Emotional Intelligence on Oct 13,14,18 & 19, 2022.
Meet Your Ethics Requirements
Are you looking for courses with verifiable ethics content? Check out the following ethics titles scheduled in the next few weeks.
Business Ethics: It Starts with You
This course offers an introduction to understanding and managing ethical issues in a business setting. Through case work and open dialogue, it explores the intersection amongst prominent theoretical approaches to ethics, personal values, business values and how they shape business decisions.
Read more on Business Ethics: It Starts With You (In-Person) or Business Ethics: It Starts With You (Live Webinar)
Ethical Decision Making: Exploring the Hidden Influence of Unconscious Bias in the Conscious Mind
You make tens of thousands of decisions every day. At this session, learn how you can better understand the hidden biases that underlie your decisions, shape your perspectives, and influence your personal interactions.
Read more on Ethical Decision Making
Tax is seldom black or white. In this interactive session, case studies will be used to provoke discussion on ethical dilemmas related to tax matters confronting accountants.
Read more on Ethical Tax
Professional Ethics for Career & Life Success - Good for Business and the Right Thing to Do
This hands-on, participatory workshop will guide you through several classic ethical frameworks and supply you with practical tools and techniques you can use to maintain high standards of ethics in your work and on your team.
Read more on Professional Ethics for Career & Life Success
Strengthen Your Knowledge on Corporate Tax
Here are some upcoming seminars in Corporate Taxation offered in July and early August.
Corporate Restructuring - Fundamentals
This seminar highlights fundamental income tax considerations that arise in corporate reorganizations, including a discussion of related provisions and key pitfalls to avoid.
Read more on Corporate Restructuring - Fundamentals
Corporate Restructuring - Section 85: Transfer of Property
In order to help practitioners and other tax professionals assist clients and others with property transfer engagements, this seminar covers selected tax aspects explaining the transfer of property to a corporation using the Section 85 rollover rules.
Read more on Corporate Restructuring - Section 85: Transfer of Property
Corporate Tax - Investment Holding Companies
The taxation of investment holding corporations have seen a number of significant changes over the past few years. This course will review these and other changes using a number of examples, as well as examine the issue that is now faced by many clients – should I keep or wind up my investment corporation?
Read more on Corporate Tax - Investment Holding Companies
Corporate Tax - Purchase and Sale of a Business
This course offers practitioners, business owners and other tax professionals relevant technical and practical knowledge of important income tax considerations for when it is time to buy, sell, or undertake an intergenerational transfer of a private Canadian business.
Read more on Corporate Tax - Purchase and Sale of a Business
Brush Up on Wealth Management
Dive deeper into retirement planning myths and personal finance strategies.
Smoke and Mirrors: Financial Myths that will Ruin Your Retirement Dreams
This course will simplify the process of planning your retirement by pointing out the myths perpetuated by the financial services industry that make them money at your expense. It includes real life stories of strategies that don’t work and those that do.
Read more on Smoke and Mirrors: Financial Myths
The Simplest Personal Finance Strategy Ever
This course is designed to show you the dangers that exist with a net worth focus. That’s because the typical net worth statement is a very misleading measure of wealth that often leads to major problems. This session will delve into a strategy that focuses on the cash flow implications of everything you acquire from now on rather than where they go on a net worth statement.
Read more on The Simplest Personal Finance Strategy Ever
Network and connect with your fellow colleagues at one of our in-person seminars offered in Vancouver.
The content of this course draws from over twenty-five years of experience in delivering Excel training to accountants and other business professionals and throughout the program, relevant, real-world examples reinforce the major topics presented.
Read more on Advanced Excel
Advanced Excel Data Magic - Managing, Analyzing, and Reporting
In this session, you will learn about the importance of creating Data Models to facilitate your financial reporting processes and how you can use Power Pivot to assist in summarizing your data quickly and easily into compelling and interactive statements.
Read more on Advanced Excel Data Magic - Managing, Analyzing, and Reporting
Controllership - Operational Management
In order to add value to their organizations, controllers must serve four distinct roles: steward, operator, catalyst, and strategist. This seminar focuses on the first two of these roles, steward and operator, by providing an overall understanding of the skills and tools necessary for controllers to fulfill their responsibilities as an operational manager.
Read more on Controllership - Operational Management
Controllership - Strategic Leadership
As a companion seminar to Controllership – Operational Management, this seminar focuses on the roles of catalyst and strategist. In addition, this seminar provides the opportunity to view the controller as a leader and a key strategic partner within the organization while providing participants with practical tips on how to enhance their leadership skills.
Read more on Controllership - Strategic Leadership
Income Tax - Real Estate
This seminar provides a detailed examination of income tax issues arising from the acquisition, development, holding, and disposition of Canadian real estate. Some coverage of provincial tax issues involving real estate will be included.
Read more on Income Tax - Real Estate
Leadership and Coaching
This course focuses on equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to become effective and respected leaders, able to turn compliance into commitment to achieve the desired results for their business unit, teams and themselves in a more effective manner.
Read more on Leadership and Coaching
RIP - Estate Planning
This seminar provides a detailed review of important estate planning matters for practitioners or other professionals who deal with owner-managers or clients with a high net worth.
Read more on RIP - Estate Planning
Three Critical Soft Skills You Need as an Effective Leader
As a professional accountant, the tendency to focus and build on technical skills can sometimes produce a blind spot along your leadership path. The labelling of certain personal skills as “soft” may imply some lack of importance, but in 2022, these soft skills have never been more vital in improving staff connection and helping your employees thrive as you build and propel yourself, your team, and your organization towards success.
Employee retention continues to remain a challenge for Canadian employers and according to Gallup, 70% of a team’s engagement is highly influenced by managers. As an effective leader, it is important to create and foster a culture of resilience, instill trust in your team through purposeful connections, and learn how to get a buy in from your employees to empower them as you work towards a common goal.
Resilience – facing the tough times together and coming out stronger
Without resilient leadership it will be impossible to have healthy and happy employees who are engaged, can overcome challenges, and work through problems with sustained energy. As a leader, do you have the ability to persevere through crisis and uncertainties and also provide the guidance and energy to lead your team to adapt and bounce back? It is important to learn the components, strategies and tools that leaders need to become examples of resilience and in turn, build resilient teams.
Emotional Intelligence – your people and connections are key
Emotional intelligence is sometimes also referred to as emotional quotient or EQ. It is a measurement of how well you are able to understand your own emotions and the emotions of those around you. Possessing emotional intelligence is key in building meaningful relationships in your career, instilling trusts to those around you. Some individuals may naturally have higher emotional intelligence, but all leaders can learn, practice, and implement tools and strategies to achieve a more people-focused approach to your leadership style.
Negotiation – getting that important buy-in
Arguably the one skill leaders must master is the ability to get others to agree with them. In any undertaking of significance, whether personal or professional, knowing how to get adversaries to accept your point of view while seeing themselves as winners is crucial to your success and the prosperity of the enterprise you lead. Improve your negotiations skills and obtain greater comfort and confidence in getting others to agree with you.
Get inspired to be more purposeful and passionate about your life and leadership
With today’s worried and frenetic world, this life coach, author, and professional motivational speaker will leave you with actionable insights and valuable tools to find confidence and feel armed to effectively handle life’s adversities and challenges.
Meet Tammy Robertson, MA, an unapologetic optimist who believes in grit and gutsiness and that we are all wired for resilience. With over 25 years of experience Tammy works with CPA’s from BC to NL, providing resilient leadership and personal development seminars and keynotes at conferences and training days. As a life and leadership coach to leaders both in industry and public practice, Tammy will give you the tools to play your best game, even as the rules and positions change.
Tammy is a co-author of four books: Success Strategies for Women, Awakening the Workplace, Mastering the Art of Success with renowned speakers and authors Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Brown and most recently, No Winner ever Got There Without a Coach with thought leader David Rock. Tammy is also a Founder of RealTalk, a global community committed to improving communication and relationships one real talk at a time.
Attend our five-part Resilient Leadership Certificate Program and let Tammy inspire you with fresh insights and provide you with practical tools to create a culture of optimism and be more resilient.
Here is what past participants have to say about their seminar experience with Tammy:
“Tammy is easily one of the best instructors working with CPA today. Love her style and authenticity. Always enjoy her courses.”
“Tammy was an excellent instructor. Her passion for the material was evident and she made each person feel included in the discussion.”
Foster a Culture of Continuous, Lifelong Learning
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Whether you want to encourage engagement within your team, increase staff productivity or equip your employees with the skills they require to do their current roles and prepare them for the future, our PD In- House Presentations can help you achieve your learning goals.
If you require additional detailed information on our In-House Services, check out our FAQ page, request a quote or connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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