It strikes me that ambitious accountants want the best for their clients. And to help clients achieve the best, accountants have to influence the thinking, behaviour and decisions their business owners make.
But this is hard.
Accountants often feel a lack of authority about influencing their clients. This is fair because they have no authority. However, influence does not require authority. Influence is not exclusively a top down process like authority.
“I’m willing to bet the people who’ve had an impact on you rarely had the authority to do so. Each one of us, regardless of our status, can choose to be an encourager—an agent of possibility for others.”
This quote from Bernadette Jiwa struck me as particularly relevant for accountants wanting to influence their clients.
However, influence is a set of skills.
One of these skills recently helped a managing partner reduce the debtors total of his firm. The use of peer pressure applied in a gentle and respectful way achieved an unlikely and positive result.
And if you want to read Jiwa’s full article it’s here.