Navigating the Holiday Family Events

5 SIMPLE THOUGHTS TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY

Everyone has a family and there is nothing better than ending a busy year by spending time with both family and friends. But for some reason the holiday season is also a time when stress and conflict abounds. I wonder how much time out of our busy schedules we actually spend working on family relationships. Have we ever stopped to consider healthy ways to manage any stress and conflict that shows up during a family get together? While we cant choose our families, we can choose how we relate to and behave with them. navigating family events, family dna, family purpose, family behavior

Its often hard to relax when some of the invited family are unknown to us or we only see once or so a year; it tends to put even the most easy going of us on guard. Conversations can be stilted, differing opinions can lead to conflict and create a less than holiday goodwill atmosphere.

So how can we navigate these holiday events to ensure everyone has a relaxing fun-filled time?

Its an interesting thought that many of us know exactly how and what to do in our business world to enhance communication and develop ways to work around difficult colleagues, engage with clients and yet we often dont realize that a family is in fact a microcosm of our business world; it could be argued that family is the most important unit of society and building healthy relationships within the family through understanding communication and behavioral styles will read across to our business life.

So here are 5 thoughts to navigate family struggles during this holiday season.

1. All families have elements of behavior that challenge us. Think of a particular family member whose behavior is challenging and then list at least three things about that person that you value. Then use these key strengths to build a relationship with them.

2. Make a commitment to understand your own communication and behavioral style and use that knowledge to better recognize how best to communicate with other family members.

3. If you are behaviorally engaged with your family members you will focus on the issue when conflict arises and not the person.

4. Regardless of your communication or behavioral style everyone reacts well to appreciation. Consider how often you express this to family members. A word of appreciation and acknowledgement of their value to the family can change the dynamic in a room.

5. Make a point of spending time with a family member that you dont know very well. Focus your communication on them; be interested in what they have to say; remember their conversation may not stimulate you, but the fact that you made time for them and listened could be the highlight of their holiday season.

The Christmas Holiday should be a time to make wonderful memories and it often only takes one family member to change the family environment either for good or not. How about this Holiday Season you make the commitment to be the one to be behaviorally smart and navigate everyone through to a Christmas to remember.

Finally, the takeaway from this is that when a crisis does hit the family they will be able to unite and draw strength and support from one another.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Pocklington is a Human Behavior Solutions Analyst at DNA Behavior, assisting with the research and development of behavioral products. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms. Solutions are delivered in the areas of client experience management, financial personality management and human capital management.

Visit the our website to learn more about navigating family relationships.

The First Step to Become Behaviorally Smart

What is the first step in becoming behaviorally smart?

Self- Awareness.

Why is this so important?? Because it shapes three very critical components of the financial planning process.

1. Listening to clients

You need to be fully present with your clients at all times. This requires you to listen at many levels at once: the words, the tone of voice and body language, their emotions, and even their self-talk and beliefs about their situation.? And it involves using both your head and your gut. Further, you have to empathetically demonstrate to the client you have listened.

What most advisors dont factor into the listening equation is their own biases.? You have to discern whether what you are sensing is a bias you have or whether its something you can share with the client.

Becoming aware of your biases means you need to understand how you listen, what you listen for, what we include and what we exclude.

In reviewing the Financial DNA Natural Talent Report with one of my advisors, his score showed that he was low on listening.? At first he was very defensive as he prided himself on being an intent and purposeful listener.? As we continued to delve deeper, he admitted that he tended to tune out when he felt the conversation was not directly relevant to the goals of the discussion. The other point is that we tend to listen better on certain topics that are relevant to us ? for some it is risk taking and ventures, others it is lifestyle and family. A big bias to keep in mind when listening to clients!

2. Guiding clients

When you are highly attuned to your client, it is more likely that you will ask a powerful question or make a direct observation that prompts the client to think more deeply.? You will know youve asked a powerful question when the client responds, Thats a great question or maybe the client becomes quiet and reflective while they are having an aha moment.? There is real joy when you guide the client to the goals and solutions that are perfectly tailored to their own unique personalities.

What does your client really want to do in retirement? Are they just giving the same answers as everyone else or does this have passion for them?? If you are a very goal driven advisor, it may be difficult for you to set aside your bias as you talk with a client who doesnt live their life by goals and who seems to be all over the place. Some more feelings based clients do not even respond to the word goal because it is too rational. guiding clients behavioral finance

As an advisor, if you can ask one great question a year then you will build engagement that is sustained for a long time, if not, a life time.

3. Building client portfolios

As an advisor, you are likely to have different risk taking and risk tolerance levels than your client.? This lens can sometimes shade your view and how much you empathize with clients that are completely opposite from your approach.? Having an objective system that measures the financial, investment and financial personality risks can help keep you on track in conversations with clients and keep your bias in check.

Think about a couple who have divergent risk profiles and then overlay your own risk profile. Navigating the differences can make for a very difficult conversation if you dont take the time upfront to ascertain this information using a holistic process.

The behavioral side of the business is not soft anymore. It has some real hard-edged monetary consequences.? Especially when you consider that 93.6% of the financial planning process is the behavioral management of the clients.? Just be sure your behavioral bias is not standing in the way of building lasting, trusting relationships with your clients.



Peggy Mengel ? Vice President, Human Behavior Solutions Advisor at DNA Behavior

Specializing in financial services, Peggy uses behavioral intelligence to help businesses navigate human differences to unlock performance potential. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more about becoming a behaviorally smart advisor.

Behaviorally Smart Advisors Are 40% More Productive

A behaviorally smart advisor is one who:

  • Knows their behavior and can adapt to others
  • Navigates different communication styles
  • Manages their own and others emotions

How does this make an advisor more productive?? Increased behavioral awareness helps an advisor to:Behaviorally Smart Advisors Are 40% More Productive

1. Choose energizing client relationships

By understanding the clients communication and behavioral style, an advisor can more easily build a trusting relationship from the very first meeting.? A client who trusts you is not always second-guessing your decisions and strategy.? When an advisor is in a defensive position, their energy is drained.? Imagine having a full day of interactions with clients who are completely opposite of your style. Not much left in the tank for increased productivity!

2. Capitalize on increased energy when operating in strength zone

The ability to know your behavioral strengths allows you to structure your day for maximum productivity.? If you are more numbers and research driven, having to spend your entire day talking with clients and employees will be draining.? You need to have at least 60% of your day focused on those activities that apply directly to your strengths.

3. Build cohesive teams to leverage their talents

In understanding their own strengths, a behaviorally smart advisor is quick to determine the strengths of others to create a team that can contribute to each others success.? Whether that is staff or strategic partners, an advisor is acutely aware of the synergy that exists when each team member uses their strengths and is acknowledged for them.

Becoming behaviorally smart is truly the key to success.? Because when it comes down to increasing revenues, behavior will drive performance.? As the great management guru Peter Drucker said, Its all about the people.



Peggy Mengel ? Vice President, Human Behavior Solutions Advisor at DNA Behavior

Specializing in financial services, Peggy uses behavioral intelligence to help businesses navigate human differences to unlock performance potential. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more about becoming a behaviorally smart advisor.

Are Women More Risk Averse Than Men?

Very often the point is made that men and women are different. In the area of investment risk taking, some research suggests that women are more risk averse. Some of this research is referenced in the first of BlackRock’s three-part blog series on gender differences, Men vs. Women: Risk Aversion.

The first point is that the behavioral research generally shows that the structure of men and women’s brains is different to some degree.? Then add the significant physiological differences. This is why it has been said that “Men are from Mars” and “Women are from Venus”. The differences can be reflected in very different beliefs, values, attitudes including to taking risks.

I would like to clarify the difference in terms of risk taking more from the stand point of our DNA Behavior research, which has been independently validated. Our DNA Behavior research shows that the natural instinctive behavior of men and women is generally the same. That is based on natural behaviors as many men will take risks as women. This will be their decision-making starting point. The research is true of other behaviors such as taking charge, being outgoing or social, being empathetic, goal driven or creative. The fact is that there are women out there whose first instinct is to take risks. Similarly, on the other side, there are an equal number of men and women who are instinctively cautious. Again, there are men out there who by nature do not take risks.

However, it is also important to recognize the influence of “learned” behaviors on a person’s personality development or evolution. This is where the substantial differences between men and women can arise because they do have different values and attitudes coming from the differences in how their brain’s are structured and the physiological differences. For instance, what we see is that a woman may be naturally (instinctively) a risk taker but her nurturing attitude to protecting the family will kick through and lead to cautious behaviors. Or, in the case of another women she may be born cautious but have to at times take risks to generate income and capital for the family. But, there will still be an overriding careful attitude to it.

The main point here is not to automatically assume all women will be naturally more risk averse than men.

The same point is true for advisors who think that the men make all of the decisions in doing the financial planning. In some cases the man may lead the process as head of the household and bread winner, but he may not be the power player in making decisions – the women may be far more take charge and direct the decision-making.


Hugh Massie is a Human Behavior Strategist, successful entrepreneur and a leader of the “behavioral awareness” revolution in businesses worldwide for unlocking human potential. He has 26 years of unique and diverse international experience in developing client centered human behavior solutions.


Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more about helping couples improve financial and life decisions through an enhanced relationship with money.

The ‘Prize in Knowing Your Clients Better Than They Know Themselves

4 Thoughts to Consider

A recent visit to my bank manager highlighted the need for me to open an account with a higher % interest rate. Just one catch (as far as I could see) I couldnt access these funds via an ATM; however if I needed to transfer money from the new account to my account attached to the ATM I could do so by downloading an App onto my cell. As explained to me, I would then be able to use this App to transfer funds from one account to another even while standing in line at the ATM.

building relationships, customized experience, knowing your clients, behavioral finance, personality assessmentI was somewhat skeptical to say the least and visualized lines behind me at the ATM becoming frustrated as I tried to move funds from my high interest account to my ATM account. But in reality it took no time at all; nobody was held up in a line; I transferred funds from one account to another using my cell, withdrew my cash and went on my way.

The moral of this story for financial advisers – know your clients better than they know themselves.

Bree McDonough as part of the FSC Deloitte Future Leaders Program writes in the following article titled The Digital Revolution of Wealth Management:

Evident from changes in legislation, technology and customer expectations the traditional wealth management model is not sustainable to service today and tomorrows connected customers. The Australian wealth management industry is urged to invest in building their digital intelligence and implementing a connect customer centric business model. It is recommended that the industry implements the strategic enablers explored in this paper to increase digital intelligence and re–engineer their businesses around todays connected customer:

  1. Know your customers better than they know themselves
  2. Redefine service and value
  3. Plan for the future and remove barriers.

 

By implementing these strategic enablers, the wealth management industry can leverage the digital revolution to build sustainable and valuable relationships, build trust and a deeper customer understanding. Successful businesses will counter disruption by constantly evaluating their business model and position themselves with a strategic advantage. The longer the industry waits to leverage the digital revolution the more difficult the challenge will become, and the more ground they risk ceding to competitors.

 

This article raises an important issue around the need for advisers to understand their clients behaviors and how best to engage with them in a way that they are open to new ideas around managing their finances. It also presents a wider issue for consideration raised by the current digital revolution and the need for the industry to plan for meeting this challenge.

My bank manager knows I am risk averse, time poor, reasonably IT savvy but transferring funds as described while standing in a line seemed to me a step too far. Not so as it transpired.? I took this step because I trust my adviser.

So what are the takeaways for advisers from this scenario?

  1. There is power in getting to know your clients better than they know themselves
  2. Becoming a behaviorally smart adviser will enable you to get below the surface to the real issues much quicker
  3. By building a framework to communicate with clients on their terms you will increase engagement
  4. You will be able to customize the financial planning process for each client

Make it a priority to develop deeper relationships with clients to build trust. Doing so will set the stage for introducing the kinds of change needed in the financial industry to continue to win clients and stay ahead of the competition.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Pocklington is a Human Behavior Solutions Analyst at DNA Behavior, assisting with the research and development of behavioral products. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms. Solutions are delivered in the areas of client experience management, financial personality management and human capital management.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more.