CPA Practice Advisor - 28

THE LEADERSHIP ADVISOR
How to Adapt Our Habits to Create
Stronger Connections at Work
IN THIS AGE of technology disruption, we can feel alone, sometimes not knowing where
our anchor is - what will stay the same, what will change, and what we can depend on,
and how we will get there together. As leaders, we focus on change management in our
organizations and what the future of our work will look like, however; there isn't always

AMY VETTER, CPA.CITP, CGMA

Mindful Technologist &
Keynote Speaker
@AmyVetterCPA

an equal amount of focus on creating stronger human connection as we go through the
process and ensuring everyone feels they are not alone.
What can get in the way of progress is when our individual patterns
of behavior prevent the business from
embracing the opportunities ahead. In
order to create change, breaking the
habits that are holding us back can
come down to understanding the
internal stories that drive each of us
and the decisions we make because
of them. Everyone has habits. It is
a fact of human existence that we
are, as the old saying goes, creatures
of habit. All too often, we think of
these acts only in terms of the "bad
habits" our parents told us to avoid,
like biting our fingernails or putting
our elbows on the table. However,
many of our habits are decidedly a
good thing. If you had to consciously
make millions of decisions in a day,
life would become overwhelming in
a hurry. Habits are ways for us to act
on instinct and streamline our days
to be more efficient.
Think of the way you get up in the
morning. Odds are you turn off your
alarm, turn on the shower, brew a cup
of coffee, and so on without ever having to think about it. These habits are
hardwired into our brains, allowing
us to perform countless tasks during
a day. A habit only causes a problem
when you don't like the outcome of
the behavior associated with it. In
a professional context, you may be
snappy or curt to colleagues out of
habit, later regretting your behavior
and having to apologize or resisting
change, rather than stepping back and
learning about the opportunity and

28

JUNE 2019 ■

how you can reskill to move forward.
You don't want to have to experience these negative consequences
over and over again before doing
something about the habits keeping
you from being your best self. It's
hard work to look at yourself, and
dedicate time to the practice of doing
things better or differently. The payoff,
though, is more than worth the effort.
Before you begin to fix your habits,
you need to understand what a habit
is and how it works.

WHAT IS A HABIT?
Merriam-Webster defines "habit" as
follows:
■ A settled tendency or usual manner
of behavior
■ An acquired mode of behavior that
has become nearly or completely
involuntary
■ An addiction
■ A behavior pattern acquired by
f requent repet it ion or phy siologic exposure that shows itself in
regularity or increased facility of
performance
What all of these definitions have
in common is that they describe the
somewhat involuntary nature of our
habitual behaviors. That's why they
can be so hard to change. We can pinpoint the behavior we want to correct
and still struggle to do so. Without
understanding the why underlying a
behavior, it becomes very difficult to
stop it.
Very few human behaviors are
innate or unprompted. "That's just

www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

the way I am" is a tired excuse for
acting in a way that harms others
or hampers your own performance.
It may be challenging to change the
"way" you are, but you can do it with
self-reflection and daily practice.

HOW TO REPLACE A BAD
HABIT
In his best-selling book The Power of
Habit, Charles Duhigg describes a "habit
loop" consisting of three parts: cue,
routine, and reward. "First, there is a
cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go
into automatic mode and which habit
to use," Duhigg writes. "Then there is
the routine, which can be physical or
mental or emotional. Finally, there is a
reward, which helps your brain figure
out if this particular loop is worth
remembering for the future."
What this means is that identifying the habit or routine itself is not
enough to correct it. Additionally, you
need to understand the cues, both
external and internal, that prompt
the habit in the first place. If you
notice that every time the topic of a
new technology change comes up or
learning a new way of doing things
is creating anxiety for you, instead
of responding or feeling negative, try
to pause for a moment, maybe step
away and take a walk or close your
eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Odds are it may start changing your
perspective from your natural habit
to resist. We may find that it is hard
to do this initially, but when we keep
ourselves accountable and practicing

the habit we want, versus the ones we
don't want, we begin to display these
behaviors more naturally.
Understand the cues that lead to
you wanting to avoid different areas
of change management or that create
conflict between you and other team
members. Is it the stress of dealing
with a hard conversation? Is it the possibility of ruffling a peer's feathers?
Whatever the case, you have to find
a way to take that cue and use it to
spur you toward better action, we can
create a different expeirence when we
begin with ourselves.

THE IMPORTANCE OF
HABIT CORRECTION
Unlocking our potential, both in a
professional and personal context, is
all about performing at our highest
capable level as often as possible. Many
people end up making a few habitual
errors that hold them back in spite of
being A-players the vast majority of
the time. If you suffer from setbacks
that you know you can avoid, ingrained
habits could be to blame. They aren't
going to fix themselves overnight,
but understanding why they happen
and working to correct them can be
one of the best steps toward selfimprovement you ever take.
As accounting professionals, we
are sticklers for getting the numbers
right. Apply that same rigor to your
own patterns of behavior and the sky's
the limit for what you can achieve. ■


http://www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

CPA Practice Advisor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPA Practice Advisor

2019 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
2019 Product Review - Tax Preparation Systems
From the Editor: Change is in the Air
The Millennial Advisor: Gone!?!
The 21st Century Accountant: The Four Stages of Robotic Process Automation
From the Trenches: Do Your Best Leadership
The Leadership Advisor: How to Adapt Our Habits to Create Stronger Connections at Work
The Staffing & HR Advisor: How to Quit Your Job Gracefully
Lean Six Sigma Advisor: 4 Steps to Ensure a Return on Your Technology Investment
Bridging the Gap: Automation is Here. How Are You Leveraging It?
Protect & Build Wealth Through Captive Insurance
How Simplification Has Complicated the Tax Office of the Future
Apps We Love: Legal Services
Can Employers Make Direct Deposit Mandatory?
Think Twice Before Not Paying Summer Interns
How to Gain Law Firm Clients With Clever Marketing
How to Set Up the Chart of Accounts for Law Firm Clients
Resources for the Law Firm Accountant
The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Next Day Funding for ACH: Powerful Payment Processing that Drives Prosperity
Don't Delay Implementing New Revenue Recognition Standard
AICPA News
How to Prepare for Summer and Not Leave Your Business Stranded
CPA Practice Advisor - 1
CPA Practice Advisor - 2
CPA Practice Advisor - 3
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Editor: Change is in the Air
CPA Practice Advisor - 5
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
CPA Practice Advisor - 7
CPA Practice Advisor - Protect & Build Wealth Through Captive Insurance
CPA Practice Advisor - 9
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Product Review - Tax Preparation Systems
CPA Practice Advisor - 11
CPA Practice Advisor - 12
CPA Practice Advisor - 13
CPA Practice Advisor - 14
CPA Practice Advisor - 15
CPA Practice Advisor - 16
CPA Practice Advisor - How Simplification Has Complicated the Tax Office of the Future
CPA Practice Advisor - Can Employers Make Direct Deposit Mandatory?
CPA Practice Advisor - Think Twice Before Not Paying Summer Interns
CPA Practice Advisor - Resources for the Law Firm Accountant
CPA Practice Advisor - 21
CPA Practice Advisor - Apps We Love: Legal Services
CPA Practice Advisor - The Millennial Advisor: Gone!?!
CPA Practice Advisor - The 21st Century Accountant: The Four Stages of Robotic Process Automation
CPA Practice Advisor - The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Next Day Funding for ACH: Powerful Payment Processing that Drives Prosperity
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Trenches: Do Your Best Leadership
CPA Practice Advisor - 27
CPA Practice Advisor - The Leadership Advisor: How to Adapt Our Habits to Create Stronger Connections at Work
CPA Practice Advisor - The Staffing & HR Advisor: How to Quit Your Job Gracefully
CPA Practice Advisor - Don't Delay Implementing New Revenue Recognition Standard
CPA Practice Advisor - AICPA News
CPA Practice Advisor - Lean Six Sigma Advisor: 4 Steps to Ensure a Return on Your Technology Investment
CPA Practice Advisor - How to Prepare for Summer and Not Leave Your Business Stranded
CPA Practice Advisor - Bridging the Gap: Automation is Here. How Are You Leveraging It?
CPA Practice Advisor - 35
CPA Practice Advisor - 36
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/august2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/june2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/april2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/december2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/november2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/october2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/september2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/august2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/july2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/june2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/may2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/april2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/march2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/february2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/december2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/CPA_Practice_Advisor_November_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/october2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/september2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/august2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/CPA_Practice_Advisor_July_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/CPA_Practice_Advisor_June_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/may2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/CPA_Practice_Advisor_April_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/CPA_Practice_Advisor_March_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/february2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/december2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/november2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/october2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/september2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/august2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/july2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/june2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/may2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/april2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/march2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/february2019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com