I saw an interesting quote: “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” ~ David Augsburger. Coincidentally (or not), I had read an article recently about how women (more than men) don’t feel they’re “heard” by their financial advisors and so they either continue with the relationship feeling neglected or choose to work with someone else. This advisor hopping doesn’t lend itself to long-term relationships that one may need to foster good financial habits. But I can’t say I blame them. I mean, after all, it’s hard enough to muster up the courage to admit that you may need help, then it’s hard determining who is best able to help you, and then you have to actually do the work (act on the advisor’s recommendations). This is not easy, and it’s especially difficult when you may feel that the person who is advising you doesn’t “get” you.
There has been a lot of commentary in the financial services industry publications about active listening. Do people really need to read an article to know how important this is? The various articles state all kinds of research about how when an advisor really listens to a client, the relationship grows that much deeper and the client realizes more success in achieving his/her financial goals. Shocking! (Sorry, I was supposed to give up sarcasm as my New Year’s resolution.)
I don’t know exactly why there are so many advisors who are poor listeners but I suspect it’s because of their business model. If they are paid for a specific action (a product sale) they may want to get to those actions ASAP. They may not (think they) have the time to spend “just” listening. Patience is a virtue but it takes a boat load of faith to apply it to business. You have to really KNOW in your heart that you’re doing the right thing, and that financial compensation will follow – eventually.
This lack of listening very much concerns me about my industry but, as the poem prayer Desiderata states “But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.” There are many financial advisors who long to have you as a client and want to listen to you, hear your unique circumstances, help you reach your goals – despite what may appear like insurmountable obstacles. It leads to a lot of job satisfaction for us!
So keep looking until you find someone who will hear what it is you have to say, because it is very, very important.