If you are able to interact with people, there are huge benefits in growing in those skills. I’m not saying that everyone is the same or you can somehow learn to read minds but there are personality types you can identify when meeting people that will provide a greater understanding as to what type of relationship you could potentially have with that person. The advantage of honing in on these skills will help you work with people that grow your centers of influence, attain clients, and build a solid referral network for your financial advisory business.

Know Thyself

The first step in studying personality types and people is to first study yourself. Truly get to know your strengths and weaknesses. When we know who we are and what we’re good at, we can build on those skills and leverage them in our business and self-growth. For example, I know that I’m a natural leader and like to jump in both feet first into a new project. I also know that I need people to finish projects and tie up loose ends. How do I know this? I’m particularly fond of one test, the Kolbe A Index. In the Kolbe test, they identify “methods of operation” as Fact Finder™, Follow Thru™, QuickStart™, and Implementor™. I know that I’m a high QuickStart™ but low Follow Thru™.  Because I’m aware of my strengths I can focus my time that’s most beneficial in growing my business and hire employees or contract work out that I know I won’t be as good at. The Kolbe test is very comprehensive. Through your results, they give you your natural strengths in each “action mode.” The comprehensive results will help you strengthen your skills set and show you areas that you could work on.

Besides the way you operate, you also need to know the best way in which you learn. The book “Managing Oneself” by Peter Drucker, does a very nice job helping the reader identify their best way of learning. If you know how you learn best, you can increase the speed at which you learn, and the more you learn the more you earn.

Understanding Personality Types

People are vastly different from one another. When you deeply understand the people around you, your capacity for empathy will be much greater, your relationships will improve at work, with your friends, and with your family, you’ll communicate more effectively, and you’ll have much greater chances of achieving success. People who are experts on people don’t try and make people think and behave the way they do. They understand that everyone is different and they respect and even value different perspectives and personalities.

As a financial advisor, you meet and network with hundreds of people throughout the lifetime of your profession. We’re financial caregivers and we have very intimate conversations with our clients about their personal affairs. Knowing and understanding people will help guide you through interactions with them and grow your relationships.  The Myer-Briggs approach does a good job of simplifying different personality types as well. Below are some resources that will help you start to learn more about people.

I would encourage you to start studying the soft sciences; psychology, sociology, human behavior, human biases, happiness, fear, and vulnerability. These soft sciences will help you gain a better understanding of people and your relationships; making you a more wholehearted and well-rounded person in your profession and personal life.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out 3 Reasons You Should Stop Timing the Market for Your Clients.”

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