A Five-Step Plan for Awkward Political Conversations

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Given the upcoming election, advisors are going to be hijacked into awkward political conversations with clients. Here are five ways to handle those cringey dialogues you just don’t want to have.

Why you need to be prepared

Maybe a client is talking about politics because they are genuinely concerned about the impact on their portfolio. Or, perhaps they are making polite conversation or looking to get attention by grandstanding.

Whatever the reason, you need to be prepared.

Let’s talk about the risks you face if you go into the election season without a safety plan:

  • Conversations get sidetracked and led astray;
  • Disagreements arise that may cause unvoiced resentment;
  • Awkward moments that build tension;
  • If their political fears are unaddressed, they will become dominant and want to take a more active role in managing their money; or
  • You will miss the opportunity to understand the emotional source of their political concerns, and this dissonance will lead to other problems in the relationship.