Training The Accountant Mind

Recently, I held a one day workshop for a group of CA Interns. Now this is a profession that inspires awe in many. At the same time, as a profession it is highly stereotyped.

High on conscientiousness but low on almost every other trait on the OCEAN model, is how we see accountants in general. Given the nature of their work, it makes a lot of sense to assume this.

Yes. That is where I made my one mistake of the day. Assumed. That these people would be very serious learners. No, not by a long mile. They came in loud and noisy, happy to be away from their work desks for a day.

I immediately caught on. After introducing why soft skills, we dove right into a word game, a critical thinking game and a creative thinking game. With each game we identified the specific gaps in their outlooks – and the Why was underlined very soundly. They were the biggest draw of the day.

We delved into the various communication scenarios they found themselves in. We formulated solutions and tactics for each. Cross team brainstorming happened.

In the afternoon we moved on to public speaking practice. A few of them came up and presented my slides. As the detailed discussions had already happened, they were focusing on stuff like building relevance, building coherence and ultimately, building trust with their audience. All critical skills in their chosen profession.

We finished off with some detailed work on their written skills. After a high tea, it was time for a few more games and feedback. On the whole, the day was vibrant and full of learning – for them as well as for me.

For me that day was an eye-opener into their specialized world. For them, the workshop clarified where they stood with their client handling skills, and mapping a path from there to success.

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