Accountants: How to Grow Relationships through Emotional Intelligence

10 min read

At the latest Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) annual meeting, Becker instructor Mike Brown presented the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) in professional accounting. Emotional intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, and managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. In short, it’s important for accountants to understand emotional intelligence because it will help you be a more effective communicator with your professional peers.

To gain a better understanding of EQ, you can use the DISC communication profile. Each letter in DISC represents a communication style: dominance, influence, compliance and steady, and every profile has strengths and development opportunities. Here’s how you can be more effective with people based on their predominate letter.


The dominance profile is results-oriented, direct and decisive. This group can be assertive and outspoken and focus more on the big picture of a project. High-D colleagues may take on too many tasks or be impatient with others. When collaborating, people in this group would be great at defining the vision and expectations for the project. To more effectively communicate with a higher D, be clear, specific and to the point. Focus on results, but also start with the bottom line.


The influence profile is social, enthusiastic and optimistic. They can be very persuasive and focus more on people than on the tasks at hand. Sometimes their optimism may lead to over-promising. This group is great at brainstorming and outlining content for projects. To more effectively communicate with a higher I, focus on people and action items. Make sure to connect with them personally – ask them about their family or hobbies before getting to business.


The compliance profile is detail-oriented and adept at problem-solving. This group enjoys rules and logical processes, so they may be resistant to change. Compliance individuals are great at analyzing results. To more effectively communicate with a higher C, present the facts before the bottom line and emphasize quality and reliability.


The steady profile is harmonious and consistent. Those in this group are concerned with championing others and keeping things organized. When collaborating, allow steady colleagues to define the details and deliverables. To be more effective when communicating with a higher S, focus on building a trusting relationship and show sincere interest in them as people. Try to keep a steady pace throughout the meeting and draw out their personal goals and ideas while sharing your own priorities.

Emotional intelligence involves the ability to recognize our own feelings and those of others to manage relationships. Using the DISC profile to understand your colleagues’ style preference can not only improve how you communicate but also make your work life more pleasant.

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