Use of Self in Client Relationships

Pullen, Courtney; Rizkalla, Leanna
February 2003
Journal of Financial Planning;Feb2003, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p36
Academic Journal
The article explains that it is important for financial planners to address the emotional response of their clients. As the field of financial planning moves toward a life planning approach, this question is even more relevant. When doing life planning, you are inevitably asking your client to address very sensitive values-based questions. These types of questions not only can trigger strong emotional responses, but require a level of trust between the planner and client that is similar to the trust developed with a therapist. These emotional reactions and trust issues may get in the way of you moving forward to adequately serve your client in their planning goals. Use of self involves noticing what is occurring in your work with your client and using it to direct the course of a conversation. Your effectiveness as an advisor ultimately depends upon the quality of your relationship with your clients. Using yourself as a tool is one of the most effective strategies for creating that quality. You can sharpen that tool internally by committing to learn about who you are, your values, the role of your family history, race, and gender, and how it all affects how you approach your clients. You then sharpen it externally by trusting your observations of yourself and your clients, and using it to guide the relationship.


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