Think about meeting someone for the first time. The conversations are usually very much on the surface, about the weather, food, etc. Now think about how that once stranger became a good friend. It was most likely through one-on-one conversation that you realized you have things in common, but you never would have gotten to that point if one or both of you refused to open up.
The same goes for you and your clients. It’s important to show them that you are relatable, that you understand them, and that you are here to help. Sharing pieces of your story will help them to build their trust in you as a leader, and that trust will lead to them feeling comfortable enough to open up to you. Thus, you will find yourself better understanding your clients, providing them with the advice and guidance they need, and doing your job successfully.
Sharing your experiences can help your clients relate, plan effectively, and possibly avoid some mistakes. Reflect, ask yourself, then ask your clients the following:
1. What is your “why”?
Why do you do what you do? How did you get to where you are today, and more importantly, why did you stay? Think about the “why”, the reason you chose the roles you play in your life, and inspire your clients to think about their “why”, their purpose.
2. What experiences have shaped your story?
Think about the things you’ve done and what’s taught and guided you to where you are now. Sharing specific examples can help you connect with your clients and lead them to the decisions they need to be making. Also think about what you’ve learned not to do. This is equally as important to share, if not more. It’s important to communicate that the road blocks in life can be crossed and are not a permanent barrier.
3. What passions do you have?
Consider the driving factors that push you each day to reach your goal(s). They can be both personal and professional. Now ask yourself if you are you leveraging those passions. Allow your clients to think past the here and now, to think of the people in the lives, and to use who and what they are passionate about to plan for a fulfilled future.
Leadership is about inspiring others to action, and each of you are leaders in your clients’ eyes. The future of advice is all about your leadership, framing of stories, and connecting clients to resources that will help them live their life more fully, safely, and joyously. The future of advice is here - are you committed?