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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.
How are you managing fear and uncertainty?
By Tammy Robertson, MA, originally published in motivationalspeakercalgary.wordpress.com on September 20, 2011, updated December 2021.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face … Do the thing you think you cannot do.
─ Eleanor Roosevelt
Do you understand the impact of fear and uncertainty on the people you work with? Prevailing fear around the global economy alongside so many other unfathomable big-time changes have left people feeling unhinged and in deep question about pretty much everything in their life and work. Fear unchecked and unmanaged, leads to paralysis and a “wait and see” attitude that can erode engagement and productivity even in the best workplaces.
The Great Resignation and a very unsettled workforce is an indication of low engagement levels across the board. According to LifeWorks research, 1 in 5 Canadians have left their jobs in the last 6 months and 30% are currently considering leaving. What if you could increase engagement and productivity by even 10%? What would that be worth to your bottom line?
- What tools have you given your people leaders lately to deal with change and uncertainty?
- Is it time to change the way people communicate and openly honestly discuss the challenges we all face?
- How can your leaders role model resilience and fortitude?
- How are you encouraging leaders to deal with the emotional roller coaster of change?
How do you prepare your leaders with powerful and practical tools to improve overall engagement and workplace cultures where people want to stay? The real question is, “Why are people staying?” not why are they leaving?
1. How are YOU Managing Fear and Uncertainty?
An article about how Navy Seals manage fear offers some insight. I realized as I read it that I have sucked when it comes to managing the fear of change. My inclination, and many people’s, is to take a passive approach to getting through it. If you don’t have a concrete actionable strategy, except to hope for the best, distract yourself from the discomfort, and wait ’til it passes, you are not alone. What can you and I learn from Navy Seals?
2. Sometimes life is uncomfortable – deal with it. You can’t quit … Sometimes.
Have you ever asked yourself this question – Am I really up for this? Can I handle the not knowing how things are going to turn out? If you were training to be a Navy Seal … which I know you are not, but if you were, you would endure a fair amount of discomfort. It’s called Hell Week.
Imagine, being naked in the Pacific with stage two hypothermia. Your trainer gets you out of the water and calls you over. You run over shaking uncontrollably and he offers you a cup of hot chocolate. He walks you over by the warm ambulance and says “I know that you don’t need this … ring this bell, I’ll let you drink that hot chocolate, put a blanket around you, and put you in the back of that ambulance.“ You look in the ambulance and see a half dozen other guys in there sipping hot chocolate. You ask yourself, “What am I doing?!“ then you catch yourself and hand the trainer back the hot chocolate.
When would you do that? Hand back the proverbial hot chocolate? Do you default too often, to comforting yourself? Are you bold enough to do the right thing? These are the questions I am asking myself now. Sometimes you shouldn’t take the hot chocolate. What is important enough … what is the bigger stake that compels YOU to stay with the discomfort and move through it … and even get stronger and more resilient because of it?
3. Fight Your Instincts … Don’t Run and Don’t Hide
Fear makes you want to “fight or flight“, and Forget Everything and Run … either way it is about ending the gap, coming to a resolution, forcing an outcome. What are the alternatives? What if you could Face Everything and Rise? Can you stay with something, endure the uncertainty and move patiently towards what you really want? Do you have the fortitude?
4. Stay in This Moment
When asked how a Navy Seal gets through Hell Week, Howard Wasdin, a former Navy Seal on Team Six (the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden), says simply, “You have to look at it as Hell Minute.“ Their focus is getting through the next minute. When you are in a particularly challenging time, saying I just have to get through the next month seems like an eternity, particularly if you are literally freezing and starving and in danger. Fear is pointing you to be present right now … only with that kind of focus can you assess and make choices that serve your real goals. Stress will take you right out of the moment and get in the way of clear thinking.
5. Stay Committed to “Your Something Bigger“
The one thing that you know about a Navy Seal is that they won’t quit. How committed are you to your new business, to your fitness goals, to finishing a project or simply to living your life on your terms? Will you stay with it, even when it gets harder than you even imagined it could be? Without passion and vision you cannot endure the challenge. Employees are yearning to be part of purposeful action and to know that their effort and energy matters and is making a difference.
6. Practice Using Fear to Your Advantage
When fear strikes what do you do? Here is something I try to remember about many things … “You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to your level of practice.“ So how do you know that you will access calm, presence, focus and clarity when you are afraid? You practice. Take time each day to breathe, slow down your heart rate, become centered and grounded. Feel it in your body physically. Don’t let the endgame come into your thinking. When fear kicks in, you have rehearsed extreme presence so many times that the training and muscle memory take over. NOW, really is the time to begin a meditation practice. The best leaders do.
7. Ask Yourself Some Clarifying and Inspiring Questions
Here are three important questions you could ask. They have inspired me and moved me to action. Fear and paralysis don’t need to live together … why not let fear trigger a whole new set of actions and convictions?
What if I fail and recover?
What if I do nothing?
What if I succeed?
So, what are YOU learning? How and what are your people leaders communicating about change and uncertainty? More importantly what are they role modelling?
TAMMY ROBERTSON, MA, is 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. Is your “Heart in the Game?” It’s more important than ever!
To learn more strategies and tools to become a resilient leader and build resilient teams, check out the Resilient Leadership Certificate Program offered in our Winter PD Program.
Quality PD at your fingertips – where do you begin?
CPABC PD is proud to offer a wide array of professional development opportunities to meet the needs of a diverse membership. But what works best for you? Here, we’ll break down all the different learning opportunities available to help you begin, or enhance, your PD experience.
An immersive and in-depth learning experience to take your career to the next level
Transformative and in-depth multi-day programs designed to fast-track the careers of controllers, CFOs, CEOs, and other senior managers.
Online Virtual Seminars
Live courses on specific technical or personal development topics and suitable for professionals comfortable with technology but find commuting a challenge
Courses on diverse technical and business topics, thoughtfully retooled to be offered via Zoom – the definition of virtual classrooms. Varied lengths and split days available.
Live courses on specific technical or personal development topics for those who prefer being in a physical classroom as it’s their optimal learning environment
Traditional classroom courses on diverse technical and business topics – greatest opportunity to interact with instructors and peers. Varied lengths available.
Value-packed day with shorter sessions of similar-themed or linked topics
Multiple short sessions throughout the day, includes plenaries and your choice of breakout topics. Create your own ideal package.
Suitable for professionals looking to acquire specialized knowledge and skills in a specific area, and can commit to completing a set number of courses
Group of seminars designed to provide substantive knowledge in a core topic. Certificate issued once all necessary seminars are completed.
Online On-Demand Seminars
Tailored to accounting and finance professionals, offering flexibility to complete courses at their own time and pace
Archived recordings and webinars specifically designed for online self-study. Rich inventory of titles from CPABC and third-party providers. Varied lengths available.
Audit Engagement – Overview of CAS 315
CAS 315 has been significantly revised, reorganized, and enhanced to require a more robust risk identification and assessment to promote improved responses to identified risks. The revised standard introduces new concepts and definitions, enhancements and clarifications to help the auditor apply the audit risk model, and strengthened documentation requirements relating to the exercise of professional skepticism. It is important that practitioners understand the changes to the standard and how these changes will impact their engagements.
This seminar will review the key changes and introduce extensive application material in the revised standard to help practitioners plan their audits in accordance with the revisions. It builds on participants’ experience of planning an audit based on a strong understanding of the business and its environment by introducing them to the revisions to CAS 315. In addition, the importance of understanding client's technology will be discussed using activities relevant to the participant’s practice. Start planning now for the implementation of the revisions to improve the quality of engagements.
Available seminar formats: Live webinar and on-demand.
New Course on Quality Management (CSQM1 and CSQM2)
The Canadian Standards for Quality Control (CSQC1) have been replaced by the Canadian Standard for Quality Management (CSQM1 and CSQM2) and related amendments to relevant assurance standards. For firms who perform assurance engagements, the systems of quality management are required to be implemented by December 15, 2022. For non-assurance firms, there is a one-year deferral to December 15, 2023.
Quality Management – Overview of CSQM 1 and 2 for Providers of Assurance Services (New Standards) will review the requirements of the new standards and is intended for assurance firms who are already familiar with the current quality control standards. At the end of the session participants will have a road map of the decisions that will need to be made and the changes, if any, required to ensure their current quality control processes and procedures are compliant with the new standards. Also available on-demand.
Related seminars: Quality Management - Impacts of CSQM 1 and 2 for Providers of Assurance Services (New Standards) and Quality Management - Impacts of CSQM 1 and 2 for Providers of Compilation and Other Non-Assurance Services (New Standards)
Get a better understanding of the US Taxation
As a practitioner or an accounting professional who wants to improve your understanding of U.S. taxation issues and filing requirements or just want to get an update of recent changes, you can choose from our sessions below the topic that is relevant to you.
US Corporate Tax – Fundamentals
This seminar will provide a general overview of the U.S. corporate taxation system, which includes the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and the way in which this code imposes tax and filing requirements on Canadian and U.S. corporations. Read More
US Personal Tax – Fundamentals
This seminar is designed for accounting professionals and practitioners who want to gain a basic understanding of U.S. taxation for individuals and an update of recent changes to assist with the preparation of basic U.S. tax returns. Read More
US Tax – US Citizens Living Abroad
This seminar provides a general understanding of U.S. taxation of U.S. citizens and resident aliens abroad, exposure for failure to file U.S. tax and information returns, options for delinquent filers, and recent changes to U.S. income taxes. Read More
Avoid Common Pitfalls in Workplace Human Resources Issues
Address with greater confidence workplace human resources issues that spill over into legal or potentially legal questions, and avoid common potential pitfalls in workplace legal issues.
Workplace Law: All You Wanted to Know About and Were Afraid to Ask
This course will cover the legal issues in workplace law that most frequently arise, impacting your organization’s ability to deal effectively with human resources. Read More
Ways to Improve Your Productivity in 2022
As the pandemic continues to unfold in unpredictable ways, achieving the same level of efficiency and productivity seems like a demanding goal for many in these circumstances. If finding ways to be more productive deserves a place on your 2022 to-do list as well, here are some strategies that might help.
Up your time management game
The “time management” challenges of the 21st Century workplace are very different - old solutions don’t work anymore. Enhancing your time management skills will optimize your personal productivity to produce greater results in less time. If you feel time-challenged, it’s time to gain control of competing priorities and critical deadlines.
Work smarter, not harder
You can’t add more hours to your day ─ even if you could, your to-do list would grow to fit the time available. But you can learn to work smarter and power-up your productivity to add to your personal and professional bottom line. First, you have to identify what you are trying to accomplish and why. Then, you can personalize your productivity and stop procrastinating. Get more done in less time and be happier with yourself!
Most professionals are familiar with using the Microsoft Office suite for day to day productivity. But are you using Office’s best tricks and are there tools that you should add to your own bag of tricks? Office productivity boosters can help you gain productivity with little effort to work more efficiently when performing “everyday” tasks. And explore new tools, such as bringing AI to your Excel workbooks or automate workflows with Power Automate, to maintain strong levels of productivity.
Like many simple tasks, organizing is something we all know how to do. Yet few busy people take full advantage of its immense productivity benefits. Organizing is often relegated to our free time which rarely comes around.
No doubt, personal technologies are now mainstream. Invest time in learning the options available to tie various systems together and tune up your world at home and office to achieve more convenience, security, and privacy.Further reading: Too many distractions? Try these techniques to boost your productivity, Working effectively during COVID-19: Skills development for current challenges, and 3 ways to motivate yourself to do work you don’t want to do.
Maximize your Engagement with Sheriff Consulting
Garth Sheriff, CPA, CA, CIA is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPAO), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). He has worked as an assurance professional and learning provider for over 20 years. Garth has prepared and trained CPAs for key changes to the profession, including internal control documentation (SOX), Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS) and Canadian Standards on Review Engagements 2400 (CSRE 2400).
Garth is the founder of Sheriff Consulting which specializes in the design and delivery of professional and leadership skill courses for accounting and finance professionals. Their mission is to provide an engaging approach to your continuing professional development (CPD). Their online content is designed for maximum engagement using the latest developments in adult learning pedagogy and current research in technical, professional and leadership skills.
Sheriff Consulting in partnership with CPABC PD offers you six Video-on-Demand titles you can take at your convenience. Here is what Garth has to say about why their webinar titles apply to you:
1. Why is it important for attendees to learn about professional ethics, now more than ever?
The pandemic has completely changed how CPAs work and communicate. And our use of transformative technologies, including machine learning and blockchain technology, is increasing. Given the enormity and speed of these changes, CPAs need to learn their impacts on our ethical decision-making.
2. What's one of the key ways your seminars will help CPAs in their career?
An overarching learning objective in our on-demand courses is to help CPAs understand how effective communication is a crucial component of organizational health, creativity and ethical decision making. We use current research, interviews and relevant case studies to achieve this learning objective. For example, in one of our professional ethics on-demand courses ─ Improving Psychological Safety in the Workplace ─ we use the case of Wirecard to emphasize what can go wrong with ethical decision-making when an organization has low psychological safety.
3. Is there a current challenge that your seminars will help address?
Understanding the privacy risks and responsibilities for CPAs when collecting personal information is a current challenge addressed by our latest professional ethics on-demand course ─ What CPAs need to know about evolving privacy risk. This course explores why CPAs should be interested in learning more about privacy, including defining personal information and privacy best practices.
4. What is a key opportunity your seminar offers?
Our on-demand courses offer an opportunity for members to learn a specific skill set or concept engagingly and practically that can be applied immediately. The instructional design of our course integrates current research, case studies, and activities to explore the course's learning objectives and provide participants with at least one SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goal.
5. Tell us about one takeaway that you are really excited to share with your audience.
One takeaway from our courses that I am excited to share with our audience is introducing important and impactful learning objectives using our engaging instructional design and delivery. We want members to learn, laugh and engage in critical concepts and skills that will help their professional development.
New Free Archived Webinar ─ Ethical Dilemmas: The Thick Grey Line
CPABC members can now register to access the free recording of Ethical Dilemmas: The Thick Grey Line, presented by Laura Friedrich, FCPA, FCGA. This session will increase your confidence in interpreting and applying the CPA Code of Professional Conduct to real-life workplace challenges.
The course begins with a brief refresher of the CPA Code of Professional Conduct, followed by team-based evaluations of ethical scenarios and potential actions to determine where the line of acceptable behaviour is crossed. Recorded from a live webinar in December 2021, it is eligible for 2 hours of ethics content.
Register or explore other ethics offerings in the PD Winter program.
CPD Reporting for 2021
The deadline for reporting your 2021 CPD is January 31, 2022. Log into CPABC’s secure website to view your 2021 CPD requirements and report your CPD hours.
PD PassportsPurchase your 2021-2022 PD Passport and save with our special 10% discounted pricing and meet your CPD requirements for 2022. Valid for seminars through to August 31, 2022.
Did You Know?
Top courses attended in 2021:
ACCOUNTING & ASSURANCE
Compilation Engagements - Application of the New CSRS 4200
ASPE - Update 2021
Compilation Engagements - Overview of the New Standard (CSRS 4200)
Advanced Excel Data Magic - Managing, Analyzing, and Reporting
A Threats and Safeguards Approach to Ethical Decision Making
Business Ethics: It Starts with You
PEOPLE MANAGEMENT & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Critical Thinking and Self Reflection
Level Up: Writing for Clarity and Impact
Wiring Your Brain for High Impact Leadership
Corporate Tax - Investment Holding Companies
Income Tax - Principal Residences
A Six Point Plan for Financial Freedom
How to Prepare a Personal Financial Plan