S4E26. Take Your Communication to the Next Level with John Sanchez

Have you ever challenged yourself to get out of your comfort zone and try something new – like working on your communication skills? If you could pick one thing to work on today, what would that be? Could you maintain the momentum to reach mastery?

John Sanchez, the son of a 30-year army veteran, moved a dozen times before graduating high school. Those moves were the beginning of John’s lessons in resilience. A “recovering accountant,” John’s communication skills were in dire need of improvement just a few years ago – and he didn’t even know it. Through self-development he has turned his weakness into a strength and now makes a living teaching others to do the same.

John was always raised under the idea that college was a given. His perception was that you go to college so that you can have a career with stability, longevity, good pay, and good benefits. Or, at least, that’s what worked for his parents’ generation. With his only goal being to get a degree tol make getting a good job easier, accounting seemed like a sensible choice.

It was a happy accident that he ended up getting paid to talk. He was invited to a conference via LinkedIn and, after that went well, realized he could actually pursue speaking jobs instead of just hoping for them to come to him. As he shifted gears, he was told pretty bluntly that his communication skills sucked. He did everything he could to improve and, as he continued speaking at conferences, he realized nobody else was talking about how to effectively communicate. 

The writing is on the wall: more and more of the accounting profession is being automated. And, routinely, one of the biggest complaints levied at accountants is their poor communication. The only way to combat automation is to learn to excel in the areas that computers can’t replicate. By learning to master communication, accountants can let automation do the number crunching and, instead, serve as a guide, translating those numbers into something useful for their clients.

It’s not the technical skills you need to learn; it’s the people skills. Find a way to expose yourself to problem solving and making yourself of service to others. It may be hard at first, but you’ll get better at it every day if you just keep trying, and it will pay off down the line.

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