Chartered Accountants &
Business Advisors

Working with you to design a business you love so you can reach your definition of success.

Chartered Accountants &
Business Advisors

PHONEICONS-02+ 04 910 3340

PHONEICONS-02+ 04 910 3340

When Great Minds Don’t Think Alike, Exceptional Things Happen

Although single-minded determination and laser-like focus may be necessary to drive towards an outcome, dismissing other perspectives and ideas from your team can block your success in more ways than one. Not only could it prevent your business from moving forward, it shuts down dialogue, creativity and trust; the things your team needs so that they can voice their opinions even when they’re different from yours.

What makes a great leader? Among the well documented attributes we’re all familiar with is the one skill that trumps them all: knowing how to listen.

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” -Bernard Baruch


Embracing Different Opinions Brings New Opportunities

Doors you didn’t know existed can open to new possibilities when diverse viewpoints can flourish. You and your team won’t always agree, and that’s okay. What matters is that they feel their opinions are valued and heard. Besides, by not considering their opinion, you’re negating why you hired them in the first place – for their skillset which inevitably includes innovative and fresh ideas.

During the pandemic, business owners have endured the stress of adapting to sudden changes out of their control. Disagreements with your team, business advisor, family and friends are inevitable, but conflict resolution starts with you. If you do that, you can build a strong team and innovative team who will keep fresh ideas and creativity flowing.


Lead By Listening

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” -Stephen R. Covey

The first step to managing conflict effectively and building trust is, you guessed it, to actively listen. But what does that mean?

  • Not interrupting. Although it may be tempting, take a deep breath instead and allow the other person to finish what they’re saying. This benefits both of you, as it shows them respect, and you might just learn something.
  • Demonstrating that you’re listening. Small gestures go a long way, such as nodding, or saying “yes” and “I understand” to let them know you’re paying attention and what they’re saying is really landing.
  • Reiterating the gist of what they said. Repeat it back by paraphrasing in your own words, to show you understand their message.
  • Asking open-ended questions. Put aside ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type-questions for another time. Instead, your constructive inquiry reassures that you’ve been hearing them, and open-ended questions that invite a more thoughtful answer moves the dialogue forward.
  • Acknowledging their emotions. Identify with their feelings such as “You sound understandably frustrated”, or “I realise how you must have felt upset about that.” Giving their feelings a name, whether you think they’re valid or not, helps bridge an understanding and releases tension.


The Benefits for All Involved

“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” – Joseph Joubert

Modifying your own behaviour in even the smallest way with active listening can make a giant leap of improvement in your leadership and business. It creates:

  • Positive Change: The trust that is built means you’ll both be less defensive and can work together to come to an agreement on what has to be done.
  • Stronger Influence: Once there’s trust, you’ve earned the right to work on solving the problem alongside them, with your input welcomed – not resented.
  • More Empathy: By really listening, you’ll get an understanding of where they’re coming from and how they feel. You’ll know them better and have more appreciation for their point of view.
  • Better Rapport: A connection occurs when the other person feels your understanding and empathy. It creates a momentum to continue building affinity and trust.

Ready to move your business forward?


We’re Here to Listen

Every business needs a confidant, and the ‘great minds’ at BWMD are a sounding board for your ideas and concerns. We take effective communication with you seriously, and utilise the Disc Profile personality framework as a tool to help us best match your communication style. Contact us today to help us to help you achieve success on your terms.

A Case for a Family-Based Approach to Your Team

Some of the most successful small and medium-sized businesses treat their team members like valued family members. While many business gurus would argue that this may be bad for business, there’s something to be said for a family-based approach.


Benefits of a Family-Based Approach 

Let’s look at why this approach may be a good idea for you. 

1. Higher work satisfaction = better productivity: According to Gallup, people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be fully engaged in their work. Your staff spends an average of 40 hours on the job each week and sees their colleagues more than their own family. We all crave human interaction, and when we have great relationships at work, we not only enjoy our work, but we’re also more productive and the quality of our work shoots up.

2. A great culture attracts great talent: For many, it’s not just about the money. Talented people often take lower-paying jobs if they could work in the right environment. Small and medium-sized businesses can’t always compete with big corporations when it comes to salaries; to attract the best, your culture needs to be the best.

3. Turnover is expensive: Every time an employee leaves, you lose money. Think about training new employees, delays, lost productivity, etc. People who are happy at work are less likely to leave.


How Do You Create a Family-Based Team Culture? 

Every family is different, and of course, not every type of family culture would work in the business. An absent parent (or boss) whose only form of communication is shouting when something’s not going according to plan, is not exactly a great recipe for success. 

So, which traits would create a great family culture at work?


Open Communication 

If your team believes they’re in the know, they’ll feel valued and they’d be willing to walk through fires for you (don’t let them do it, though!). 

Don’t be afraid to share bad news, either. If the business is going through a tough time – very common now thanks to the pandemic – there’s no reason to try and hide it. News flash: they already know things aren’t going too great. You don’t need to share every little detail, but if you take them into your confidence, they’ll do everything they can to help you, the company, and the rest of the team through hard times.


Invest in Their Growth 

When we invest in the personal and professional development of the team, we see them make increasingly better contributions to the success of the business. 

The more you invest in them, the more they’ll come up with fresh ideas and perspectives.


Family Time a.k.a. Team Building 

Many people are exhausted right now. We’ve had a few hard months behind us, and maybe more to come, and many people are concerned about the future. Your team may be frustrated with things they can’t get done or work they’ve done pre-covid that may seem gone to waste. Whatever the case, everybody needs a break away from the job – either as a team-building exercise or a few days off. 

A couple of months ago we took the team to the Fear Factory, where everybody could scream their frustrations out. Like the saying (which we’ve totally made up) says: “A team that screams together, stays together.”


Is a Family-Based Team Approach for You? 

You may not want your team to call you ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’, but making a few tweaks to the way you treat your team may just create the culture you need for your business to thrive.  

Do you think it’s a good idea to treat your team like family? What else are you doing to create the right culture?