Kline: The plan you make for your client will be only as good as the thinking you both do. It's not just going to be a product of the thinking you, as the advisor, do. It's going to be a product of both of your thinking. Typically, in the advisor-client relationship, people believe there is one expert. The client's good thinking is hardly ever the focus. As a result, the plan is not as good as it could be. It's not as expressive of the client's needs as it can be. Often, clients eventually turn away from the advisor. They don't know exactly why. But it's because the client was never truly tapped for his knowledge. By using the Time To Think principles, an advisor creates a better product, a better plan and better outcome for clients. When the advisor has the expertise to behave in the way that lets clients access their finest thinking, the financial plan becomes a collaborative outcome.

Gluck: You've described a bad outcome in an advisor-client relationship. Describe a good outcome in which Time To Think principles are put in place.

Kline: One good outcome would be that the plan itself reflects the client's values and will reflect more of what really matters to the client. It will lead to a more accurate expression of the client. In the process, the client thinks afresh and has his own insights. That makes the client feel more trusting of you. So the outcome is good for the advisor as well. It goes beyond what they ever expected from an advisor. A client who experiences this kind of behavior and expertise from the advisor tells their friends about it. It's a transformative experience to be with an advisor who can listen this well and manifest these behaviors.

Gluck: What about benefits on the human side, the touchy-feely stuff? I remember during the two days that we met and used your methodology seeing a grown man cry. Talk about that kind of sharing.

Kline: In the presence of this kind of attention, people feel things. They explore things that are deeply important to them. They access stories that reveal who they really are, what really matters to them, what they most want to achieve and leave behind. This kind of attention creates a sense of safety that allows people to reveal all facets of themselves. The very best of us becomes accessible. Sometimes pain surfaces, and this beautiful, natural thing the human body does to release it is in the form of tears. Sometimes people cry because they're so relieved; they're relieved to have finally thought through an issue themselves. They're relieved to find solutions they didn't even think of or didn't think were possible. And sometimes they're relieved to be appreciated. Interestingly, we know now that the heart rhythm and variability stabilize in the presence of appreciation.

The cortex is stimulated when thinking starts. We find also that the advisor, the one giving the attention, has a profound human experience from listening as well. In a very short time, a listener becomes not only understanding of but sometimes feels warmth toward the client, in a bounded and professional way, of course. You see the humanity in your clients quickly, which creates better thinking for both of you.

Gluck: How do we get from here to there? What are the behavioral changes an advisor must make?

Kline: The most important behavior is attention. It's foremost among ten properties of what I call a thinking environment. Attention describes a most profound and transformative property in the quality of listening.

Gluck: What's important to know about attention to help people think?

Kline: Attention is driven not by preparing to reply, but by interest in what the client will say next. It's driven by the courage to trust the intelligence of the client, rather than to assume that the key intelligence in the interaction is yours. This kind of attention is wholly non-interruptive. The client knows he will not be interrupted. So he thinks faster, more robustly and rigorously. This kind of attention does not put words in the mouth of a client, but honors fully the chosen words of the client by wanting to know exactly what he thinks. This kind of attention takes place with much less note-taking than most advisors do.

First « 1 2 3 4 5 6 » Next