How Can I Make a Suggestion Without Getting Shut Down?

Beverly FlaxingtonBeverly 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 have spent 20 years of my career in banking but in the last four months made a career shift to a financial advisory firm. Much of what I am working on and learning is familiar to me because it is similar to what I experienced in banking. The core elements, focusing on the client/customer and looking at their lives holistically, are completely in sync.

But I’m having a hard time helping the senior advisor (“Tom”), who brought me in see that I have insights and ideas that could be helpful to us even though my background is retail banking. For example, the bank I worked for implemented a very robust financial planning process for our clients. It was a small community bank, but we were ahead of our time. We don’t have a repeatable process here. The advisors know how to ask good questions, and Tom will cite what a good job they do getting all of the client assets. That’s just one example, but it shows how Tom, rather than asking me or listening or trying to see my viewpoint, immediately shuts down my ideas.