On Being More Human

In “The best way to beat robos: Be more human” Sarah Martinson talks about tools for relationship building, including technologies that will (ideally) “make the advice process more efficient.”

We here at the Sudden Money Institute have spent over 18 years studying the personal side and have the industry’s first post-CFP, post-CIMA, post-CFA designation designed to teach financial advisors how to fully integrate the personal side with the technical side. Though we find the idea of facial recognition and robos fascinating and they will both likely inhabit a certain space in the industry, there is no substitute for, as Martinson says, being more human. But how do you do that? What does it involve?

Studying and doing deeply personal–deeply human–work with clients has taught us that we must cultivate: 1) a willingness to learn how to sit with uncertainty; 2) a desire to learn how to listen deeply; and 3) an openness to evolving to a new way of being in our relationships with our clients.

We have learned what it means to let the client’s needs drive the work. We know what that looks like and what that feels like. And we know it takes a lot of practice. All of this can be quite unsettling for a professional whose expertise lies on the technical side and whose leadership style assumes its purpose is to move the client at a certain pace or in a certain way.

However unsettling it may be, it’s necessary to come to grips with the reality that humans don’t act with the consistency and speed and clarity that we would like. It’s necessary to be able to understand that sometimes the best decision is no decision, and sometimes a client needs to just rest. It’s time to redefine leadership in the client-advisor relationship.

When you commit to delving into the personal side, you see that your work with your clients changes. It often flows better and is more satisfying for both parties. The work you do changes because you change your way of being.