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Mattson Enterprise, Inc. | Islandia, NY

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Lately, I’ve received several requests from clients to help solve the following scenario:

My people believe they can do everything—without guidance or direction—yet achieve little success. Their confidence is high, but their results are low.

Is this a new trend in the industry? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, it’s common for managing partners to see this type of behavior, especially from their leadership teams. More often than not, those people have been in their roles for a significant period of time and believe they’ve seen everything and know how to handle all things advisor related.

All of your advice, guidance, and direction falls on deaf ears. It becomes difficult to stay motivated knowing your team isn’t really absorbing the information—the really important information—you are conveying. Then, before you know it, it’s Q3 and the numbers are subpar. You’ve just thrown another year away, not achieving the goals you know you and your team are capable of achieving.

It’s time to break this cycle. There are a handful of techniques you can immediately implement to ensure your team opens their minds and ears to listen and take direction, all of which revolve around communication.

Be mindful of how you deliver your message. Believe it or not, the same message you deliver to your advisors will be interpreted differently by the support staff. An easy solution for this would be to begin using DISC. If you aren’t using DISC profiles with your team, I would strongly encourage you to do so. This tool helps leaders reframe the way a message is delivered, so the team member fully absorbs and understands what is being said and what is expected of them. [Link] Contact me to learn more about this useful tool.

Eliminate wishy-washy words. Remove all indecisive phrases from your vocabulary. Phrases or comments like I'll try, I hope, We'll give it a shot, That's what I expect to do is the way your people get out of making commitments. Stop using them and stop accepting them. Clarity is such a key ingredient to success. You don’t want to have wishy-washy words come from you or your team. Over the next couple of days, be more conscious and actively listen for those wishy-washy words. Make some notes on who are your biggest users and adopt some of the suggested strategies to eliminate those noncommittal phrases. You’ll be setting yourself and each member of your team up for such incredible success! Read more about this topic here>>

Encourage storytelling. Telling a story paints a vivid picture while emotionally connecting with your audience. Whether you are trying to convey the importance of a closing technique or muddling through compliance issues, using a story to reinforce or illustrate your point will help your message resonate with the intended recipient.

Ask questions. The use of questioning is one of the most underused communication techniques available. You can actually improve your relationship by asking questions. We learn to do this with prospects during the sales process but really don’t think about using questioning with our teams. Leaders, if your team members are asking questions, you need to drill down to what they are really asking and not take their initial question at face value. I’m certain you reinforce this with your advisors, now simply switch gears and use it when communicating with your teams.

Recap expectations in writing. No matter how interesting your meeting, the truth is most of the participants won’t remember everything. During the meeting, assign someone to take notes and then send those notes out immediately after the meeting, making sure to highlight the next steps or action items and who is responsible.

Accountability starts with leadership. The leadership team dictates accountability, which equates to success. If you and your leadership team peers are doing what you say you are going to do—when you say you are going to do it—your producers will notice. They will start to talk about it with new recruits. It will be a breath of fresh air for your firm.

It’s only when the leadership team has embraced accountability as individuals that as a team, it can then begin to implement a successful mindset of accountability with producers and staff members.

Having a successful mindset—responsibility, ownership, and accountability—means the leaders must breathe and think this way. They need to focus their attention on themselves, their language, how they listen, what they listen for, how they ask questions and the purpose behind those questions. Most, unfortunately, hear what they want or need to hear, not what's really being said. Remember, all we're doing is ensuring people are going to do their job. They're going to do what they say and say what they do. No more, no less. Like this technique? Read more about it here>>

Changing your communication style and techniques takes time. Leadership is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember to do a little bit all of the time, not a lot some of the time.

I’d like to hear how improving your communication with your teams is working for you. Please reach out to me via LinkedIn and let me know how it’s going.


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