Cocoon to social butterfly
Introverted accountants can take comfort in knowing that often the first step of getting out there is the hardest part – and everything else usually follows naturally. “Networking is great for people who are not so confident,” says Kenneth Wong, PricewaterhouseCoopers partner. “I was one of those when I started my career. It helps you grow. You just need to get into it.”
A certain amount of preparation can go a long way towards helping build the necessary confidence. “Keep yourself up-dated with news and topical issues in order to have good icebreaking topics for going into a natural conversation,” advises Eugene Ha, a partner at Grant Thornton and a member of the Institute.
“Always listen to what people have to say first. If you are not comfortable with the conversation, you can always move on to another person. This is perfectly fine in a net-working event. Always be honest, never say something that you do not actually know or without a fact base.”
It is essential to be sincere, networkers say. “I would be quite upfront and honest with my views, and very disciplined in keeping a record of those whom I think would be useful contacts for future follow up,” says Clement Chan, a managing director at BDO Hong Kong and the Institute president.
“I would avoid saying things that I do not mean, or giving out promises that I do not intend to deliver as it will backfire on your own reputation in the long run, particularly considering the relatively small community Hong Kong has.”
“Part of it is having the right values,” agrees Keith Pogson, past president of the Institute. “You are good for your word, you believe what you say and you will work with people in a certain way. You build credibility over a period of time by being the person that you are.”
Source: HKICPA's APlus Magazine – March 2013