Financial Planning Requires Collaboration

Don’t Dictate, Collaborate

Every Tuesday, I hold a team meeting with our financial advisors to discuss the direction we are heading as a firm. My back-to-back schedule usually means I rush into the meeting where lots of intelligent people stare at me, analyze everything I say, and decide whether or not they agree. Then they give me pushback. This is the feedback I want to hear–at least when I’m my best self and not too defensive. We cover new topics each week, ranging from advisor compensation structure to marketing policies; technology decisions to asset allocation.

I’ve learned from these meetings that my team is often the key to helping me discover whether we’re heading in the right direction. If I sincerely want feedback, my team gives it to me. When it’s a safe place for them to speak up, they don’t hold back. Their responses hurt sometimes. And yeah, I might even feel depressed for a bit. I might want them to just “get in line” or “agree with me.” But, if I set aside my ego and truly listen to my team, their input provides stability and control so I don’t drift too far from my desired destination.

So here’s my lesson of the week–if you ever want to know whether you’re heading in the right direction, ask your team. Ask them about more things than you would normally think to ask them about. Create a psychologically safe environment for them to contribute their thoughts. I’m convinced this approach results in the most personal and professional growth, as well as a better home for our clients.

2 Responses

  1. I’ve found that involving all stakeholders in the decision-making process doesn’t need to end in consensus but is necessary to achieve buy-in. When people feel heard they are less likely to create negative cultural undercurrents and to adopt new processes and policies.

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