By Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D.
Reviewed by Jon Ford, CFP®
The goal of this book is to (hold on to your hat) teach readers to quickly gain the trust of prospects and clients, stay focused and manage anxiety in turbulent times, deal effectively with emotionally aroused clients, respond positively to clients' criticisms in order to increase trust, turn setbacks into comebacks, enhance office relationships, stay motivated, increase the bottom line and be healthier and happier at work and home.
Wow—can an author really do all this in 100 pages? I think Weisinger offers a great start, provided readers work hard to make it happen. Financial advisors are encouraged to grow their own emotional intelligence portfolio by developing high self-awareness, managing their emotions and becoming self-motivated. Self-help activities are presented and go beyond the basic instruction heard at most self-help workshops.
With emotions and motivations well in tow, readers can now increase their bottom line (refreshingly, not necessarily money) by diversifying their emotional intelligence. They are now in a better position to react positively to critical comments from colleagues and clients and bring rationality to the encounter.
An emotionally intelligent financial advisor (EIFA) moves comfortably among three relationship factors: needs, time, and communication. One of the first set of action items suggests rethinking relationships at work. An excellent example that incorporates all three relationship factors is the suggestion to always acknowledge your boss, even if it is just a quick hello. Do you see how the three factors are incorporated in this one action?
The book takes us into more insightful relationship problems and solutions: "move to the facts level if someone is very angry or anxious," "move to the feelings level if someone seems sad or hopeless," or "stay in the facts level if you want to solve a problem." This is very good advice for both collegial and client relationships. It's only the tip of the iceberg—read the book for a wealth of great suggestions.
This author fulfilled his goal. He used extensions from rational emotive therapy and cognitive behavior therapy of the past 30 years, and does a nice job placing them in the context of the financial advisor's practice. I believe that a course outline should be developed by one of us, and the use of this book approved for six CEU credits for participants in a small group that meets weekly for six weeks. My opinion is that this is the best way the book can have a lasting effect on a financial advisor: study, discussion, role-playing, and accountability. This book can help us relate better to the people we care about.
Jon Ford, CFP®, is president of CF Financial Planning Solutions Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa.