How to ACE the Hard Part of Soft Skills in Financial Planning


Traditionally, financial planning has been thought of as a left-brain analytical, numbers-oriented process, with education and training focused on mastering that knowledge and skill. ‘Soft skills’ have often seemed like the Rodney Dangerfield of skills in financial planning – they “get no respect!” If you’ve discovered, like our Susan did 20 years ago, that soft skills as a financial planner are not only nice to have – but MUST HAVES – then be sure to look into this workshop for your organization.


Susan trains practitioners in her therapeutic communication tips for financial planning. They’re adapted from her psychology training and experience as a financial planner who is licensed in marriage and family therapy (LMFT). To help make the methods easy to remember and use, you’ll learn some of her creative acronyms that guide your questioning and response techniques in client meetings.


Ace means “one that excels,” and the goal of this program is for you to leave with new confidence and skills when dealing with client emotions. Susan shares her A.C.E. steps to effectively manage financial discussions that may require resolving conflict or confronting problematic behavior. She provides specific “phrases for phases” of the planning process using the ACE steps to help ease the way with common, yet challenging situations. She’ll relay specific wording suggestions on how to refer clients for therapy or other services without igniting defensiveness or anger. You’ll also learn how to use the 3M’s to raise client awareness of their own patterns, and how to cultivate new behavioral habits to best support their goals. In addition, you’ll experience stress management techniques from the latest neuroscience studies that help combat many forms of stress or burnout.






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