When Advisors are Bad Listeners

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I’m having a hard time training one of our newer advisors, “Amy”, on how to be a good listener. You have written on this topic. But this situation is different. She not only doesn’t listen, but she offers her own interpretation of what was said for the team to follow up on for the client. I have to be careful because I don’t want my full team to recognize this letter. But I’ll give a very high-level overview of what just happened and what I mean. Forgive me for not offering a lot of specifics, but I am balancing confidentiality.

In a recent meeting, a client wanted to address an issue around taking money out of a certain type of investment account in order to help their grandchild with a divorce settlement. The divorce is very contentious and messy, and this client wanted to do something to help. But she was concerned for a variety of reasons about where to get the money. There are several other complications and family dynamics and the client in question is extremely well off. We agreed to investigate some options, including the one the client presented to us, and come back to review pros and cons.