The Art of Listening

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 13th February 2015.

For the hopeless romantics it’s that time of year when love is in the air.

But for the cynical amongst us it’s the time of the year when shops go into overdrive selling all manner of heart shaped, cupid themed, lovey dovey ‘stuff’. A kind of commercial emotional blackmail I guess.

People have differing views about Valentine’s Day. Some love it, some hate it. But one thing those for and against have in common is everyone loves to be listened to.

Think about it! When was the last time you were having a conversation and felt that the person you were talking with wasn't listening to you? It’s totally off putting right?

The most common underlying cause in divorce cases is a breakdown of communication. People either stop talking, stop listening or in a lot of cases both.

Without wishing to tempt fate, I’ve been happily married for nearly 28 years. During that time I like to think I’ve become a good listener (although if you ask my wife she may well have a different view).

A crucial part of my role as a successful financial planner is also being a good listener. During my client meetings it's imperative that I listen a lot more than I talk.

Why? Well it’s absolutely vital that I learn what my client really wants and when they want it by.

The partnership between client and financial planner has parallels with being a happily married couple.

Often clients come to me because they realise they need expert help in moving them towards their life goals which often of course is driven by the financials. It's a kind of outsourcing you could argue.

I don't cook but I do have a great interest in food. I wouldn't even contemplate cooking when my wife is so good at it. Again, it’s about recognising whose skills lie where and utilising them.

Another parallel between successful relationships in any kind of 'partnership' is committing to the long term once you know the person is right for you.

I’m pleased to say that just like my dear wife, the majority of my clients have been with me for many happy years.