Carl Rogers Can Help Advisors

Carl Rogers died 35 years ago. He was a psychologist and revered as the founder of the client-centric counselling method. He preferred person-centric as the descriptor and one might consider that client-centric is vaguely impersonal. I think it matters. Think about it.

Some thoughts he offers

His ideas might matter to an advisor

“Although the client-centered approach had its origin purely within the limits of the psychological clinic, it is proving to have implications, often of a startling nature, for very diverse fields of effort.”

Let’s look at some thoughts where that idea could adjust how you deal with your clients

Facts are friendly

People make reasonable decisions when the benefits are clearly seen. Poker pro Mike Caro pointed out that obvious fact years ago.

“When choices are not closely connected to benefits, people usually behave in unpredictable ways.
When choices are closely connected to benefits, people sometimes behave in unpredictable ways.”

That leads us to what matters – Benefit + Connection + Choice = Behaviour

More here, Mike Caro’s Law of Loose Wiring

Carl Rogers says it a little differently:

“The facts are always friendly, every bit of evidence one can acquire, in any area, leads one that much closer to what is true.”

You should notice why you should build relationships rather than product oriented sales. It will take time for the person to find the friendly facts they need, that’s why the relationship matters. Our job is to improve a client’s financial life. Life – not just now.

Creating a practice paradigm

Dr Rogers has an insight that applies to many more than psychologists.

“In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?”

Change from treat or cure to provide a relationship that enhances the other’s growth.

First steps

“Man’s inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively.”

“The purpose of adult education is to help them to learn, not to teach them all you know and thus stop them from learning.”

The bit to take away

When dealing with people, focus on their hopes, fears, and expectations. In the short run, what you know doesn’t matter. Until you can help them it gets in the way. They must come to see what they can use to their own benefit. Be humble.


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I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals. In the past, I have been a planner with a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency, a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business. I have appeared on more than 100 television shows on financial planning have presented to organizations as varied as the Canadian Bar Association, The Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Banks – from CIBC to the Business Development Bank.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at don@moneyfyi.com

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