Making the connection
Updated: Aug 16, 2020
What does connection mean to you? Brene Brown describes it as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they can derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
My work as a financial planner is all about making connections. I am passionate about helping people make the best financial decisions for them. That is only possible when I can connect and click with somebody. There is no better feeling than sitting down with a client or professional connection that is on the same wavelength as me, feeling the trust and connection build throughout our meeting.
It can be hard for people to talk about money. Nobody wants to be sold products with 50-page booklets issued with them. Nor do they want to sort through paperwork that is stored in one of those special drawers we all have for important stuff we hope to never have to look at again.
In my experience, people are much more comfortable talking about the problems they face and having somebody they like and trust to help them unpick their issues and work with them to build solutions.
The events of recent months have made everybody reconsider the aspects of life they value, those they are glad to see the back of and cement in their minds the plans and goals they hold most dear. Seeing family and friends, going on holiday and not being a slave to work in future cropping up every day with the people I speak to. For business owners, having enough of a back-up plan to continue to operate against the odds and fathoming how to appear professional on Zoom when you are simultaneously teaching long division. Sound familiar?
Daily life was turned on its head a few months ago and with it, business plans and family adventures stopped in their tracks. Realists will say that this is just the start of a topsy-turvy world where tales of the unexpected will become more commonplace.
That brings me neatly back to those problems I mentioned a few minutes ago. We all know somebody in business that cannot pivot. What a word. If you can do it, you will be quoting the pivot word wherever you go. If you cannot, it is an eye roller in a five-letter word.
We also know people who are furloughed, some of whom have genuinely loved time out with pay whereas others are terrified that their time at home might soon become more permanent and the things that matter most to them could be put at risk.
We have friends and family who have been ill or are concerned about their health and wellbeing and others who are isolated and lonely because of the impact of Covid-19. I defy anybody to say they have not been affected and had a sleepless night or two since Spring. Every day there is a new announcement and uncertainty that we cannot control.
Why is this relevant? It is those real-life situations, concerns, worries and things that might keep you awake at night that are bread and butter for somebody like me. Last week I spoke to a prospective client who said they were interviewing a few financial advisors but were not sure how to select the right person to help them. Here is what I said to. Choose the person you are comfortable having a cup of tea with and opening up to; the one who will always have your best interests at heart; the one who will willingly give their time to get to know you and explain things in a way that works for you; the one who would be happy knowing that you are better placed to make decisions that could change your life because you were listened to and cared for. That is what making a connection is all about for me.