This topic seems like a simple one. But tax CPAs (auditors seem to have less trouble with this one) are terrible at accepting praise. We are so trained by our conversations with clients (and the public accounting profession) to qualify every sentence that we always see the glass as half empty instead of half full. Therefore, when tax accountants finally do get praised for something they tend to do one of the following:
- Say thanks, “But it was no big deal. Others could have done it too”.
- Try to spread the credit among several people so that their part seems small. Trust me. The partner already knows it was a “team effort”. The tax partner or manager has already claimed plenty of credit for making the project a successful one. They are thanking you for making them look good.
There are going to be more occasions when someone in management is giving you grief for a mistake than praising you for your efforts (welcome to being in a CPA firm). Therefore, if someone comes to praise you for your good work on a project do the following:
- Thank them for their praise. You are glad that they liked the work that you did on the project.
- Tell them you liked working on the project.
- Tell them you hope that you can work with them on similar projects in the future.
- Shut up before you say something stupid. You want the conversation to end on a happy note.
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