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What is Interpersonal Communication?









Interpersonal means Between People.

Effective Interpersonal Communication Builds Relationships.

It turns Ideas into Action.


So what exactly is Interpersonal Communication?


Before we give an interpersonal communication definition, we should first ask “what does interpersonal mean?”

Simply put, “interpersonal” is most frequently defined as something “between people.”

In this case, it’s communication but it’s more than mere “talk.”

Interpersonal communication refers to the entire process and practice of exchanging ideas, information, and even emotional experiences that can be shared between people.

Effective interpersonal communication is the bedrock upon which relationships in business (and beyond) are built.

Good interpersonal communication is the catalyst for action.

When it’s done right, it can truly turn ideas into action.

Why is it important to you?









Financial Planning is Built on Trust.

Trust is earned through strong Relationships.

It turns your knowledge into VALUE for Clients.


Why is Interpersonal Communication important to you and why should you care?


When you ask a client to work with you, you are asking them to trust you with their money.

Money is VERY personal and people are very protective.

A client will need to feel confident in you before they will turn over their hard earned cash.

You’ve worked hard to build a strong knowledge of Investments, the Industry, Markets and the Financial Planning process.

Effective interpersonal communication is the path to turn your knowledge into value for clients.

Successful Financial Planners…










Success comes not just from the Investments they pick, but from the Relationships they build.




The planners I worked with, spent 80% of their time focused on their clients.

Communicating with them in good and bad times.

Getting to know all about them, what is important, their fears, their dreams and their goals..

They believe you know about investments, they want to know you understand and care about them.

The only way to build strong relationships is through your ability to communicate with them..


Key Interpersonal Skills…


Verbal communication

Non-verbal communication

Active listening





Self management

Social awareness








Responsibility & accountability

Conflict resolution









In the business world the difference between good FPs and great FPs is not always something you can put a finger on.

If they’re a pleasure to work with, why? If they exceed every expectation, what are their secrets?

The answer is : interpersonal skills. But because these are technically “soft skills,” which means the best way to attain them is to be born with them, they are extremely valuable and require unique methods to learn.

Here is a list of the most important interpersonal skills an FP can possess. This isn’t a complete list but many agree these are the most critical ones.



Of Interpersonal Skills

Building Blocks



Personal Brand




Emotional Intelligence


Communication Styles & Personality Types


Team Work




Value Proposition


Networking & Interviews


E-mails & Presentations


Client Experience


Digital Age





Left pyramid are skills and traits while the right pyramid is how you apply them.

Some people appear to be “naturals”.

Don’t let it worry you if you aren’t.

Building strong interpersonal skills is a lifetime journey.

If you apply the same amount oif time and effort working on your Interpersonal Communication Skills and how you effectively apply them as you have on learning about the Investment Industry and the Financial Planning process, you can’t help but succeed!







Let’s take a quick look at the top 10 skills.

We’ll delve deeper into these over the coming weeks.





key interpersonal skills



Within verbal communication there are a number of other skills that we’ll talk about later, too, such as listening and questioning, but for now we are primarily concerned with effective speaking.


Effective verbal communication begins with clarity. This often requires nothing more than slowing down and speaking more thoughtfully.

Many people feel rushed to respond to questions and conversations immediately, but it is better to pause for a moment in consideration, especially if the question merits it. No one expects, or wants, a gun-slinging attitude in important conversations. A thoughtful person is generally taken more seriously.

Par of this skill also includes:

the ability to stay calm




and to match the mood or emotion of the situation.


What do I mean by ‘match the mood or emotion of the situation? Can you give me an example?





key interpersonal skills


2. Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication is largely underrated and underestimated.

Those who can communicate non-verbally can almost subliminally reinforce what they are saying verbally.

They can also exude confidence, or any other emotion they feel, not to mention respond tactfully to a conversation without saying a single word.

Non-verbal communication is something that other people notice whether you are aware of your actions or not.

Your body language is constantly speaking.

Everything you do or don’t do says something about you and how you are feeling.

Your facial expressions (especially eye contact), your posture, your voice, your gestures with your extremities and even the way you position yourself physically in a room or amongst colleagues is constantly revealing your true attitude, for better or for worse.

Give me an example of body language? What does it tell you about the person when you see this?

There’s lot of good information on how to read someone’s body language. Worth looking into.





key interpersonal skills



This is the only appropriate way to follow two topics on communication.

If non-verbal communication is underrated, then listening isn’t even on the charts!

And yet without listening effectively, how can we interpret and respond appropriately?


Even the best communicators can talk their way into a sticky situation. You may have thought sometimes “I should have just stayed quiet and listened” once in your life!

This skill is especially important for financial planners. Think about a situation where a person just talked and didn’t let you say anything.


Putting it to a basic level– listening is crucial to success .

Listening is so important that it is a bona fide field of theoretical study (a contradiction of terms, but still). Communication can not be realized unless a listener completes


Give me some examples where its better to listen than talk?






key interpersonal skills




I call this curiosity!


Questioning is a lost art that can serve many purposes.

Questioning is something that often builds upon listening, but it is not merely a device for obtaining information.

Questioning is a great way to initiate a conversation. It demonstrates interest and can instantaneously draw someone into your desire to listen.

Smart questions show that you know how to approach problems and how to get the answers you need. Fortunately, questioning can be learned more easily than other skills on this list.

Needless to say, it’s all about the quality of questioning.

If you ask what are referred to as “closed” questions, you’re going to get “closed” answers.

What is an example of a closed-ended question? These are questions that elicit brief responses, e.g. “Did you like your dinner?”

Instead, you want to ask “open-ended” questions, which probe deeper, e.g. “Tell me what you thought of dinner tonight” or “Where do you think we can improve our marketing collateral?” Of course, if you’re at a cocktail party, some questions are better saved for the next day!


Can someone tell me some good “open ended questions”






key interpersonal skills



Your parents were correct. Good manners are important!

Good manners tend to make many other interpersonal skills come naturally. Put another way, if you are polite, it’s a great start!

With business becoming increasingly more global, even for small businesses, manners are more important than ever.

A basic understanding of etiquette translates to other cultures and their expectations.

We are all guilty of assuming people are less intelligent if they have sub-par manners. This same judgement is reflected back on us by the people we interact with.

Anyone who has visited other countries knows how sensitive its residents are to visitors’ manners.

Business-to-business interactions function in much the same way.

Who can give me an example of etiquette in other cultures?

( think of introductions? Passing your business card to someone? Meals?)





key interpersonal skills



Every day has its problems!

A rare day would be one without problems. What makes this a skill is not necessarily how quickly you can solve a problem, but how you go about doing it.

No plan is a guarantee, so there is always an element of risk. Some people can weigh risk better than others.

The key aspects of successful problem solving are:

1. Being able to identify exactly what the problem is

2. Dissecting the problem so that it is fully understood

3. Examining all options pertaining to solutions

4. setting up a system of strategies and objectives to solve the problem

5. Putting this plan into effect and monitoring its progress.

If the problem is as simple as replacing printer paper, then obviously different measures can be taken. But what about dealing with a bigger issue like communication to clients during a market down turn?





key interpersonal skills



Being in tune to others’ emotions is an essential interpersonal skill.

This dictates how many of your other interpersonal skills should function.

When we are concentrated on our own projects and success, it is easy to close ourselves off from others’ problems or concerns.

Social awareness is crucial to identifying opportunities, as well.

People will often unconsciously test someone’s ability to respond to a social situation

for example, a person who is struggling professionally will be desperate for help but, naturally, wary on revealing the fact that they need it.

Being able to identify something like this demonstrates that you are operating at a higher level of social awareness.





key interpersonal skills



Not all interpersonal skills are extroverted.

We’ll talk more about this in a future lesson, but you may have heard about “Emotional Intelligence” by author Daniel Goleman.

Experts believe self-management to be one of the pillars of EI and absolutely fundamental to leadership success.

Self-management allows us to control our emotions when they are not aligned with what would be considered appropriate behavior for a given situation.

This means:

controlling anger

hiding frustration

exuding calmness, etc.

Undoubtedly there are times to show your true colors, but remaining composed is almost always the desired course of action.

Can someone give me an example of “Self management” or a situation where its important to self-manage?





key interpersonal skills



Responsibility and accountability are two reliable indicators of maturity.

Saying you are going to do something and then actually doing it is a sign of responsibility. ( remember we talked about getting assignments completed?)

This builds trust between yourself and those they rely on you and it encourages others to seek your counsel and assistance.

Holding yourself accountable for your actions is one of the most difficult things to do, both professionally and personally.

This is also a crucial element of conflict management.

When conflicts arise between yourself and others, or when you have made a mistake or at fault, that is when accountability becomes difficult.

Admitting to your mistakes isn’t enough.

You have to understand the situation fully and respond in a way that addresses the issue comprehensively.

Holding ourselves accountable tends to go against our instincts; this is definitely when the “flight” instinct kicks in.








key interpersonal skills



After all this talk of listening and respecting others, there is no denying the importance of being assertive.

However, this is also where you are most likely to offend or come off as too aggressive.

Being assertive is the only way to get your ideas onto a competitive table.

It also means:

standing up for what you believe it

defending your ideas with confidence

instructing others on what needs to be done

I’m sure we are all familiar with the adage that most people who ask for raises receive them? and yet very few of us are assertive enough to make it happen.

When used tactfully, assertiveness can gain you a kind of respect that you won’t be able to attain by other means.

Give me a few examples where you will have to be assertive?



Todays discussion topics

Making Yourself Understood

Why is Listening Important?

Active Listening

Effective Communication:


The PRES Method

Gaining Support

Communication Effectiveness:


Conference Calls

Handling Complaints



Last week we started with a brief overview of Interpersonal Communication and today we’re taking a more in-depth look at Communicating Effectively with Clients and Colleagues


Specifically we’ll look at the importance of Listening, a few methods to help with clarity and we’ll look at communication effectiveness for email, conference calls and how to handle complaints which unfortunately are a part of business.



Great Speakers Who Inspire

Michelle Obama

Martin Luther King Jr.

Sir Winston Churchill

Nellie McClung





Barak Obama




To begin the lesson, I’d like to draw your attention to a few great orators, both past and present, whose words and manner of communication have influenced people’s thinking and inspired action.

Each speaker was effective in applying the adage of ‘Begin with the End in Mind’.

They spoke clearly, succinctly and meaningfully.

By doing so they were able to inspire change and turn ideas into action.


First Lady Michelle Obama is an American lawyer, university administrator, and writer who served as the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American First Lady. During her tenure as First Lady, she promoted the importance of healthy living & fitness. She also stumped for Hilary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. election. She is currently on a speaking tour promoting her new book, Becoming.


Barack Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois. During his two-term presidency, he inspired the US people with his vision, leading change in various areas, including: international diplomacy, health care, financial regulation, climate change, etc.


Sir Winston Churchill was a British politician, statesman, army officer, and writer, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. As Prime Minister, Churchill led Britain to victory in the Second World War.


Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968.


Canadian Nellie McClung was a novelist, reformer, journalist, and suffragist. Nellie McClung was a leader in the fight to enfranchise North American women. Her efforts led to Manitoba becoming the first province to grant women the right to vote in 1916, followed by Alberta and Saskatchewan.

They all initiated some positive changes, and their messages have all had an impact.



Do You Make Yourself Understood?


Is it misinterpretation or miscommunication?


Did your assumption affect the outcome?


Are you clear on the point you are trying to make?

Making Yourself Understood





1. Warm- up: Start with a video clip from the TV series, The Big Bang Theory.



The Big Bang Theory clip on Poor Communication – Game Night:

Duration: 4 minutes.

Characters: Penny (standing), Amy (sitting), Sheldon (standing) + Leonard (sitting) at the opening of the scene.


In this clip, Sheldon & Leonard each fail, in their own way, to make themselves understood yet both possess exceedingly high IQs.


As we compare effective communicators (such as those on the prior slide), how did Sheldon & Leonard fail in making themselves understood?

> Rushed to action

> Lack of clarity

> Assumed the other person thought the same way


> Clearly there is some work to do in order to improve Communication between Sheldon and Leonard.


Relationship or Returns?

FP Client # 1


Last year made 12% this year on pace for 6% returns in line with plan of 6%


FP sends monthly market performance emails


FP calls only “as needed” and reviews plan if client asks

FP Client # 2


Client earning average 6% return in line with plan


FP sends targeted articles of interest monthly


Quarterly scheduled touch point


Annual plan review with client

Now lets look at the messages from 2 different planners to their clients:



How do you think planner 1’s client will feel about the communication they receive? What if the return is 3% instead of 6 or 12%?


How would Planner # 1’s client feel about the message and the value of the communication they receive? How are they likely to feel about the value their FP provides?


How about planner # 2’s client?


Planner 2 has broadened their communication strategy to add additional context and value to the client while proactively reaching out with regular contact to build, deepen and maintain a strong relationship.


Planner # 1 is only delivering market information the client can get from statements or the news and the messaging is focused on returns Planner # 2 has a value added communication approach built on knowing about the client.


How loyal do you think each client will be?


TIP: Building your value proposition and communication strategy is like standing on stilts in a termite farm, sooner or later you are going down. No one can always provide the best or even above average returns all the time.


Why do you think clients leave their Advisors?



Didn’t do what they said

Over promised

Went Missing after the deal closed

Lack of communication



No contact/ updates

Admin issues/ delays

Do it yourself investing

Feel left out of the conversation

85% are actually happy with returns!

You may be surprised to know that over 90% of clients leave their relationship with their Financial Planner not because of returns or products, but because of a lack of communication and a flawed relationship!

In fact surveys have shown that over 85% of clients who leave their planning relationship are actually happy with their returns.

With that in mind what do you think might happen to Planner 1’s client?


Why is listening important to clients?

Knowing what your client feels, wants and needs starts with effective Listening.


Listen to Understand!



Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

– Stephen Covey

Clients want to be heard and they want you to understand and respond to their stated needs, feelings, goals and objectives.

They want and need your advice but that advice has to be given with their needs and goals as the priority.

Make sure you take time to understand them before jumping to a recommendation.


So how do we listen effectively?





What is Active Listening?

Stop talking.

Put the person at ease (e.g. smile).

Look at them, nod & prompt with verbal responses (e.g. “I see”, “Uh huh”, “Yes”).

Be patient.

Avoid discouraging responses (E.g. Looking at your watch, yawning).

Manage your EI (e.g. facial expressions).

Paraphrase what you heard (e.g. “It sounds like”, “So ”, “To your point”).

Ask open ended questions.











Tips for Active Listening




This where active listening skills can really boost your ability to meet that challenge.

What is active listening?

Active listening is a critical skill for effective communication.

Active listening is how you receive verbal information in which you give your complete focus and attention to the speaker.

As an active listener, you take part in the communication by understanding their message, comprehending the information they present, and responding thoughtfully.

In contrast, passive listening, is where you filter out most information and only stay alert for key details.

You’re passive listening if you’re dividing your thoughts between other topics while someone is speaking, or focused on developing the reply you’re creating in your mind.


Active Listening Skills


The Hallmarks of an Active Listener


Focus your attention on the speaker.

Make eye contact.

Listen with your eyes as well as your ears.

Observe non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, posture, posture, etc.

Identify and acknowledge the speaker’s feelings in a supportive manner.

Ask questions to clarify assumptions the other person holds and help the speaker see the issue in a new light.




This video is a great example of Amy practicing Active Listening & Sheldon not so much.


Play >

The Big Bang Theory clip on Active Listening:

Duration: 2 minutes & 26 seconds.


Here are some keys to being a good Active listener…


Focus your attention on the speaker.

Make eye contact.

Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. Observe non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, posture, posture, etc. What are some other NON VERBAL clues?

Identify and acknowledge the speaker’s feelings in a supportive manner.

Ask questions to clarify assumptions the other person holds and help the speaker see the issue in a new light. This could include injecting some thoughts or ideas about the topic.

Effective Communication

Keys to Effective Communications


Be considerate.

Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns.

Be succinct: Make one point and provide an example or a supporting piece of information.

Watch you nonverbal ‘approachability’ cues.

Take responsibility for your message delivery.

Simplify the complex.


Success is 15 percent due to professional knowledge and 85 percent due to “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.” – Dale Carnegie (78 years ago).


Good communicators aren’t born, they work at it. Highly effective communicators move ahead faster and generate better results.


This video is a great example of Leonard endeavoring to be a good listener & Sheldon’s failure to do the same.


Play >

The Big Bang Theory clip on Communication:

Duration: 3 minutes.



Be considerate: Don’t dominate the conversation by talking only about yourself. Ask questions to probe your colleague’s feelings or opinions on the topic of conversation. And don’t over talk a point.

– Use people’s names.



Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns: Good listeners never highjack the conversation so that they or their issues become the subject of the discussion. Interrupting springs from the desire to be right. It most likely damages the rest of the conversation by changing the dynamics — the interrupter is exercising their dominance — as well as the emotional context. The interrupted person may feel belittled and offended, giving rise to anger, resentment and the unwillingness to be open. While interrupting is not always wrong, it should never become a habit.


Be succinct: Getting to be more succinct takes a lot of personal analysis and self-awareness, which great communicators constantly do. One of the best and more obvious ways to do this is simply to “think before your speak”.

Don’t overexplain.


Watch you nonverbal ‘approachability’ cues: We can send signals not to approach us. A few examples include; no eye contact when in the presence of others, being short and abrupt when answering open-ended questions, keeping your office door closed and having a negative disposition.


Take responsibility for your message delivery: It is amazing how much more effective we communicate once we take responsibility for ensuring that things are not misunderstood.

– Good communicators are aware of misunderstandings.


Simplify the complex: High EQ skills include being able to educate. With this in mind, break down or rephrase content to make it more digestible. Use examples and analogies.








34GB / day of content


Checks phone 150 times / week

Brevity is Vital – keep it simple and make it effective


Receives personal & work-related emails 300+ / week


Attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds, from 12 seconds in 2000




No matter the medium, being succinct and brief in one’s communications is essential. More is not better.

Most people remember 50% of what they hear…at best!

You need to make an impact early in your message to gain attention.


About 75 percent of people stop

listening to a presentation after 1 minute

reading an e-mail after 30 seconds

listening to a co-worker after 15 seconds.


Bottomline: We get easily distracted, we can’t focus, and we tune out messages quickly, no matter the format.


People have a natural mental capacity to process 750 words a minute, but we only speak at a rate of 150 words per minute.

Brevity is about managing people’s attention as the spare 600 words rattle their focus.




The PRES Method

Begin with the key point you want to make.




















Explain what’s driving your comment on the matter. Maximum of two points.

Give an example to expand on why your comment is important.

Close by reiterating your main point.



Being brief & succinct but with clarity is imperative!

Your effectiveness depends on your ability to deliver concise, succinct and etc.

Failure to do so could impede client relationships, career prospects and jeopardize your credibility.


Here’s a great methodthat can help you do this: P – R- E -S






Let me give you an example to demonstrate how this works.


Point – Every team member must achieve a minimum of 4 customer surveys per month.

Reason – There are two important reasons for this:

1) Customer feedback is vital to help us ensure we’re providing a positive customer experience.

2) WHIIM (What’s in it for me) – This counts toward your year-end incentive aware (bonus).

Example – For example, although you have had several positive customer interactions this month, if not one customer completes a survey, this will reduce your year-end average and potentially result in a lower incentive award.

Summary – Ask customers to complete the short survey at the end of a client meeting. It’s a win-win. Not only is your good work being acknowledged by the client, but the company can reward your efforts.



Gaining Support



Start with a Why statement.

To: … [Your contribution]

So that: … [Your impact]







1.) Consider …where are we now & where do we want to get to.

2.) Then … develop a succinct way to express this.

Describe the expected outcome in tangible and realistic terms.

As needed, employ a visual, metaphor, analog, etc.



Before presenting an idea at a meeting where you wish to solicit support for your proposed approach, outline your thinking first.


An effective way to guide your message is: Why, How, What

Why – State how your idea will make a difference. This filter will help with decision-making & garnering support. E.g. We need to solicit more leads. We receive 5 leads per month. We need to double this number.

How – Ask yourself … Where are we today? Where do we want to be? How do we get there? Develop a means to express this in a tangible & compelling manner. E.g. Today we generate leads through forms on the website. Clients are keen to type their information into the form. Studies show that if the customer only needs to speak their responses, they are more likely to complete the lead form.

What – Make the outcome tangible and realistic. As needed, use screenshots, an image, an analogy or metaphor, etc. Devises such as phones and tablets aren’t always conducive for typing information in the fields. By offering clients the option to simply speak their answers into the form, this will not only require less time but likely to increase the participation rate from 5 leads per month to 10 or more.


The Subject Line: Use specific subject line description.

Don’t: “What do you think?”

Do: “Robinson Acct – Missed Payment – Proposed Solution.”


Be Clear & Concise:

Apply the PRES method – make the Point first!

Use bullet points to outline your thoughts

Bold key words (when appropriate) . Do this sparingly.


24-Hour Rule: Never send an email when you are angry. This will allow you to gain perspective and not say something you’ll regret later.


Proofread: Double check for grammar, spelling and misused words.


Respond to Salient Points: It’s frustrating for the recipient when it’s unclear what has been agreed. Copy a portion of the original message to clarify what is being agreed. And state your response – agreement, questions, etc.

Don’t: “ Sure, sounds fine.”

Do: “You wrote: Are you ok with the new colour scheme of the brochure. My Reply: Sure, sounds fine.”

Communication Effectiveness: Email




The Subject Line: Use specific subject line description.

Don’t: “What do you think?”

Do: “Robinson Acct – Missed Payment – Proposed Solution.”


Be Clear & Concise:

Apply the PRES method – make the Point first!

Use bullet points to outline your thoughts

Bold key words (when appropriate) . Do this sparingly.


24-Hour Rule: Never send an email when you are angry. This will allow you to gain perspective and not say something you’ll regret.


Always Proofread: Double check for grammar, spelling and misused words.


Respond to Salient Points: It’s frustrating for the recipient when it’s unclear what has been agreed. Copy a portion of the original message to clarify what is being agreed. And state your response – agreement, questions, etc.

Don’t: “ Sure, sounds fine.”

Do: “You wrote: Are you ok with the new colour scheme of the brochure. My Reply: Sure, sounds fine.”


Communication Effectiveness: Conference Calls

Say your name before speaking.

Check the placement of your headset or phone.

Pay attention & be active.

Be prepared for the subject matter being discussed.

Use the mute function.

Be brief & to the point.


The Do’s


The Don’ts

Don’t talk over people or interrupt.

Never put your conference call on hold. Music will play & interrupt the call.

Avoid shuffling papers or talking to other participants.

Avoid eating.


Here are some important rules to improve communication during a conference call.


Communication Effectiveness:

Handling Complaints

Listen to the complaint fully


Ask lots of questions. Who, What, Where, When, Why questions.

Rephrase information given to you. Ask if it’s correct.


Advise the person making the complaint that you will look into it. Consider carefully before you comment on a potential resolution. Allowed yourself time, if needed, to review the matter offline, confer with appropriate colleagues or superiors, clarify any policies and/or procedures, etc. As such, provide a time commitment for when you’ll reconnect with the complainant, either to status them on your progress or present a solution.


Ask the customer how they would like to see the matter resolved. Sometimes, the complainant already has a sense for how they would like the matter resolved. When proposing a solution, try to present at least two options. People value choice.


How to politely tell someone they are wrong, without coming across as a condescending know-it-all. Everyone makes honest mistakes. No one likes to lose face. Be gracious. Use a gentle, helpful tone. Never, ever talk down. Ease into it by starting with something positive.



Listen to the complaint fully. This allows the person to be heard.

In some cases the persons doesn’t want any action at all, they just want to be heard.


Ask lots of questions. Who, What, Where, When, Why questions.

Also, rephrase information given to you and ask if it’s correct, to ensure you understood it fully.


Advise the person making the complaint that you will look into it. Consider carefully before you comment on a potential resolution. Allowed yourself time, if needed, to review the matter offline, confer with appropriate colleagues or superiors, clarify any policies and/or procedures, etc. As such, provide a time commitment for when you’ll reconnect with the complainant, either to status them on your progress or present a solution.


Ask the customer how they would like to see the matter resolved. Sometimes, the complainant already has a sense for how they would like the matter resolved. While the complainant’s solution may not be viable, hearing their thoughts may enable you to provide a solution, as appropriate, that is in line with their proposal.

When proposing a solution, try to present at least two options. People value choice. Too, it’s more likely that the complainant will choose one of the two options, rather than insisting on a specific resolution.


How to politely tell someone they are wrong, without coming across as a condescending know-it-all. Everyone makes honest mistakes. No one likes to lose face. Be gracious. Use a gentle, helpful tone. Never, ever talk down. Ease into it by starting with something positive.


The HEARD Approach

Let the customer know they are being heard. Be patient. Don’t cut them off.





















Practice understanding and compassion when listening to your customer’s concerns.

Even when you are not at fault, make a sincere apology.

Identify some sort of common ground with the customer. Ask how you can help. Try to find a way to make things right; e.g. a discount, etc.

After the issue has been resolved & both parties are amicable, try to identify what really happened. This will help to keep the issue from happening again.



Being brief & succinct are imperative! Your advancement depends on your ability to deliver concise updates, succinct summaries, etc.

Failure to do so could impede career prospects and jeopardize your credibility.


The H-E-A-R-D Approach








What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)


Why is Emotional Intelligence Important


The Path to Emotionally Intelligence






Core Emotional Intelligence Skills

Advantages of EQ in your workplace


Today’s topic is Emotional Intelligence and why you need it.

The truth is building EI skills, is a lot about self awareness and learning the skills needed to put people at ease.

It isn’t always easy and it will take some time and effort, but in a relationship based business, these are critical skills to master.

Highly analytical roles such as engineers, doctors or accountants can often get by without a high degree of EI because of the nature of their work.

However, if you want to be successful in any sales and relationship based role, you need a high level of EI!

Your clients expect you to know the markets, investments and the current economic environment and all the other technical aspects of the business.

But they also EXPECT you to figure them out. They want you to understand them and their goals, as well as to pick and recommend winning investments.

Bottom line is “They won’t care until they know you care”.





What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is a person’s ability to understand their own emotions, the emotions of others, and to act appropriately using these emotions.




So what exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

Basically this sums it up.

It’s the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.



What is Emotional Intelligence?

The Ability to …






…one’s emotions

Important Note: Emotional Intelligence is also referred to as EQ (Emotional Quotient).





It’s the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s emotional responses, so as to better be able to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.

Emotional Intelligence is, therefore an ability to: Understand the needs and feelings of yourself and other people

Manage one’s own feelings and

Respond in an appropriate way.

This is important in business and in life as we know that people’s emotions drive their decisions while their intellect justifies those decisions.


What is Emotional Intelligence?

Always Ask Yourself …


What went well?


What could I have done better?


What do I wish I’d done differently?


What did I learn?



Watch video on Emotional Intelligence.


Video link:


A big part of building EI is self-awareness.

It’s asking yourself these important questions and then incorporating your honest feedback into future interactions.

We need to understand our strengths, and then put those strengths to work.

John Wooden, a famed football coach said “Don’t let the things you are not good at get in the way of the things you are good at”.

Self-assessment or reflection is important because it leads to awareness.




What is Emotional Intelligence?

The Doors of success….







Sales professionals, and I must tell you as a Financial Planner, looking to build a successful business practice, you are a sales professional, must know how to open the doors of success!

When it comes to Emotional Intelligence there are 5 doors to success.


Awareness: This is where it starts.

Self-awareness is one of 5 areas you need to master if you want to be successful in sales and in building strong client relationships.

Awareness means being able to see ourselves from outside of ourselves – from the perspective off how others perceive us.



This is the powerful emotional skill that keeps those destructive emotions in check.

It prevents us from barging ahead when patience is required.

It means not pushing too fast or getting ahead of clients.



Each day in this profession you will face market volatility, endure rejection, overcome objections and deal with difficult people and still come back smiling and ready for the next opportunity.

Resilience may be the single most important emotional factor affecting success in a sales/relationship oriented career.



This is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence.

It’s more than just sympathy or compassion.

It’s about understanding what people want and understanding the other person’s situation.

It’s really like Emotional Radar. It allows you to read between the lines of dialogue and read body language, tone and other subtle signals.



The ability to establish and build rapport with others and persuade them to act the final door to success.

It often comes down to likeability.

Likeability refers to the extent to which one is accepted, preferred by others, and perceived as a likeable companion.

How successful will you be at establish a good rapport if your clients, business partners and prospects cringe every time they see you?



Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Promotes better relationships and interactions.


Prompts better decision making.


Reduces stress.


Expands options.


Improves sales results!



The ability to understand those around you, as well as being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, means individuals are much better positioned to build meaningful relationships, both with other employees and with potential customers/clients.

It also helps to foster and grow good customer relationships.

It’s a way of thinking and acting that allows one to be more aware and understanding of all those around him or her, leading to better and more beneficial decisions, actions and interactions.

You can build relationships, reduce stress, resolve conflict, and be more satisfied at work if you have a high EQ.

The bottom line is that if you have strong Emotional Intelligence skills, you will be more successful in business.


Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

90% of top performers have high Emotional Intelligence.


Emotional Intelligence is the reason people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time.

IQ determines 20 – 25%

of business success.


EQ determines 75 – 80%

of business success.






The Financial Planning business is founded on Trust and Trust is built from strong relationships.

No matter what product you recommend or service you sell, you are in the people business.

In the people business there are 3 rules:

1. You must constantly prove and reprove yourself – It takes time to prove yourself and build trust.

2. People expect you to figure them out – They want to be understood. If you don’t take time to figure them out, they’ll go elsewhere.

3. This is not about you – The only reason people re talking to you is to meet their own needs and to solve their problems. If you think this is about you, you won’t last long.

Top performers have figured this out and they use EQ to drive top business results.




How do EQ & IQ Differ?

Emotional Quotient


Measure of a person’s ability to learn, understand and apply information & skills in a meaningful way.

Intelligence Quotient




A person’s ability to recognize emotions in themselves & others, and manage themselves accordingly.




Understanding information


Understanding emotion




A person with a high IQ may be able to learn very quickly and make connections between ideas & concepts with greater ease.


A person with a high EQ can often better recognize and control their own emotions, and recognize emotional states in others, and adjust their behaviour accordingly.


It’s important to make a clear distinction between high IQ and high IQ. This slide outlines the key differences.


Here’s the Good News!!


Emotional Intelligence never stops growing!



EQ is not fixed.

While some people will be naturally more adept at certain aspects, EI can be learned, developed, and enhanced.

It can be improved throughout life.


IQ on the other hand, is established by mid-teens.

It can’t increase


The Path to Emotional Intelligence













Able to Reason


Able to Understand


Able to Manage




To expand on the basic definition, these are the 4 the phases of Emotional Intelligence.


Perceive emotion … then,

Able to reason using emotions … then,

Able to understand emotion … then,

Able to manage emotion


So let’s delve into these a little further.


Step 4: Managing Emotions


Step 3: Understanding Emotions


Step 2: Reasoning with Emotions


Step 1: Perceiving Emotions

Source: Davitt Corporate Psychology

Becoming Emotionally Intelligent



To explain the prior slide, this is a pyramid that depicts the order of ascension in one achieving emotional maturity & thus, becoming Emotionally Intelligent.


Step 1: At it’s most basic level, we first perceive emotions. It doesn’t necessarily mean we have the consciousness to go further. Perception involves both listening & observing; e.g. body language, facial expressions (etc.). Are we mentally taking note of this information as we interact with others? Are we also in tune with how we are reacting, particularly in terms of body language, facial expressions? Have you ever hear the expression, “You wear your heart on your sleeve”? This means that everything you may be feeling or thinking, may be visible to others. In some cases, this can be detrimental.


Step 2: Next we learn to Reasoning with Emotions. Once we’re conscious (even minimally) of how our mind may be interpreting what it’s reading (visually and auditorily), we can begin to understand how we’re responding to the speaker and/or how we think the other speaker may be interpreting our reaction. E.g. If we are angry and even though we may not be speaking, it may be evident to the other speaker in terms of how our face or our body language portrays our anger. BUT … what if WE are misinterpreting the speaker? Has our body language gotten ahead of what’s being said? Are we listening fully & first, taking in the information, BEFORE we begin to react? Have you ever experienced what it’s like to ‘walk on eggshells’ with someone; i.e. uncertain how that someone will react to or mis-interpret what you’re saying … even the most innocuous statements. Having to interact with someone like this is exhausting!


Step 3: The next phase of consciousness is learning to Understand Emotions. Thus, once you’ve developed your ability to Perceive Emotions, and thereafter, you become proficient at Reasoning with Emotions (i.e. what we hear & how we react), it’s then important to process what this combine information set means. Moreover, it’s the ability to accurately filter the information, perhaps comparing it with several potential meanings, and then extrapolate what is actually being said.


Step 4: Finally, putting it all together to then Manage Emotions. As you hear / see what is being said, and as you react outwardly (in what you say and/or do), you are also processing/ interpreting the meaning of the message being conveyed. This all happens almost in unison. Depending on your interpretation of all three information data-points (perceive, reason, and understand), it will determine how you manage yourself. Are you visibly reacting? Are you instead, listening with an open mind? Is it possible you are taking something out of context? … in which case, by asking a follow up question or two, might enable you to confirm whether your reaction is appropriate.




Why You need Social Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence >


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