Episode 93.5 – Green Apple Slice


7 Deadly Sins of Employee Communication


The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Chicago Tribune article, “7 Deadly Sins of Employee Communication” by Sujan Patel.


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    John: Hello, everybody. Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. And I’m here with Rachel Fisch. Rachel, how are you doing?

    Rachel: Good. How are you doing, John?

    John: I’m doing fantastic with the accounting group of leader for Sage.

    Rachel: That’s me.

    John: Yes, Rachel Fisch. That’s so fantastic. Every Monday, we kick off the week. We’re talking about an article that we found online and yeah, just get everybody’s brains going a little bit. And this one was an article that I found in a Chicago Tribune by Sujan Patel, 7 Deadly Sins of Employee Communication. I was like whoa, look out.

    Rachel: I don’t know where you go if you commit these seven deadly sins. But I really like the one — I have mentioned this before but I really like the one not to-do list because for me, it’s easier to stop doing something that’s on this list rather than start doing something that’s on a to-do list that I think is so big and I’m never going to be able to accomplish that or get that.

    John: Right, no. I agree with you.

    Rachel: I’m lazy. And so it’s easier for me to not do something than it is for me to do something apparently.

    John: I agree with you.

    Rachel: You agree with me that I’m lazy?

    John: No, no. It’s easier to do the not to-do list stuff. This is a good one. This is a good one. 7 Deadly Sins. Yeah, I just figured I’d rattle them off. Sin number 1 was focusing on weaknesses.

    Rachel: Yes.

    John: Yeah. We’ll come back to that one for sure I think. Sin number 2, disregarding professional development, another huge one.

    Rachel: Yes. I have a few things to say about that one, yeah.

    John: Right, right. Another one that’s a huge pet peeve of mine is being unapproachable. You know, it’s really frustrating to me and it reminds me of someone that I had on the Green Apple Podcast, Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello. Super approachable, super cool and she’s doing it right. So you can check out her episode if you want on the Green Apple Podcast. Sin number 4 was being uninvolved which kind of relates to the unapproachable a little bit and then scene number 5, the opposite, being too involved. I had a manager once always over my shoulder watching what I was doing.

    Rachel: No. There’s a balance there for sure, yeah.

    John: Yeah, yeah. And sin number 6, exhibiting pessimism, which is too easy to do I think in this day and age.

    Rachel: Yeah. I think sometimes when you fall into kind of friend category and think that you can talk to your staff about your frustrations and then you’re like, “Oh, wait a minute. I’m supposed to be setting the example. Oops.”

    John: Right, right, right. And sin number 7 using passive-aggressive communication.

    Rachel: I’m sure I don’t know what you are talking about here.

    John: It’s hiding feedback in humor. I don’t know anything about that. But yeah, let’s go back to sin number 1, sin number 2 regarding professional development. I mean that’s everywhere.

    Rachel: Yes. And I think you know, coming from my own firm where I understood the cost of letting staff go to different courses or different events and things like that. It’s expensive. I get it. But the amount of learning and energy and refreshing that they get out of that is way more worth that time and gold.

    So the opportunities didn’t come up a lot in Brandon, Manitoba but when they did, you know, I tried, as a small business owner, to do that. But then on the big firm side, it’s all about CPEs, right? It’s all about if you have your CPA, you have to get your CPEs. You’ve got requirements to keep you license and things like that. But one of the things that I found kind of odd was that there seemed to be more of an emphasis on doing the things that offer CPE and much less of an emphasis on that professional development piece because I don’t think taking a tax course equals professional development.

    I think it’s how can I communicate better with my clients? It’s how can I learn about the technology that we’re going to be using, that we should be using this firm? All of these things that not only increase in knowledge of the employee but also can really bolster the direction of the department or of the company itself. And so I think that that is a huge sin is disregarding the importance of that for sure.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. And there is a lot of pressure and a lot of stress put on the technical skills and not so much on the personal skills which are most important.

    Rachel: And coming from like a speaker at conferences, some of the timing of these conferences or some of the subjects that are being spoken at the conference are completely to cater to CPE credits. I’m like, this is going to be the worst session ever. This is going to be boring. Yeah, but the better CPE, I’m like but it provides no value whatsoever to the attendee.

    John: Yeah, right, right. Exactly. And it’s something where maybe the AICPA, CPA Canada, places like that need to adjust the amount of personal skills CPE that’s required and then people will fall into line and get more of that and design conferences around that more.

    Rachel: Yeah, or recognize and like we keep talking about the technical piece or last few weeks ago, I think we talked about liberal arts degrees as oppose to finance degrees. And there’s some other things like that just the importance of bringing your whole self to your firm and to your clients. I think there’s huge value in that. So yeah, it’ll be great absolutely if someone of the regulating bodies of these associations would recognize the importance of that as well for sure.

    John: Yeah, yeah. And then sin number 1 was just focusing on weaknesses which is there’s a lot of theory out there just play to your strengths. But the thing is is that when you’re doing evaluations of people and all that stuff, it’s easier to criticize them but it’s harder to remember to praise them and focus on things that they do well. And you know, pump them up because confidence is really a big part of that.

    Rachel: And it’s even so great to celebrate small wins as they happen and to not have to wait until a performance improvement or performance review. Because again, the energy and the motivation that they get, that staff get out of those kinds of just tiny little celebrations will really take them far.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. Speaking of which, let’s focus on the fact that I nailed your job title properly at the beginning of this episode.

    Rachel: Again. Oh, my goodness.

    John: So a gold star for John. There we go. Starting out the week on a bang. Here we go everybody. So that’s it. This is your episode of Green Apple Slices. I hope everyone has a great week. If you’d like to read the whole article, go to greenappleslices.com. And if you’re listening on iTunes or your favorite android app, just leave us a quick review. That’d be so fantastic. And yeah, follow us on Twitter @FischBooks or @RecoveringCPA or even @GreenApplePod for the podcast itself and yeah, we’ll catch you again next week. So have a good one, Rachel.

    Rachel: You too, John. Talk to you later.

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