It’s easy to get psychological data on “who you are, what motivates you, what separates you from others, and what potential derailers or blind spots you may have,” contended Michael Klein, Psy.D., in a speech here.
Agents can find out such information by spending a few minutes online, and then talking with someone who can help them understand and use the results, he said during a focus session at the Million Dollar Round Table annual meeting.
This is “absolutely remarkable,” said Klein, the founder of MK Insights, a psychological assessments firm based in Northampton, Mass. Such information can impact not only the agent professionally and personally, he said, but also the business, staff, and clients.
Everyone has “issues,” Klein said. That is, everyone has “ways of seeing the world, of acting, of interacting with others that goes way back to childhood.”
Some issues are unresolved, cause anxiety, and impact education, choice of career and spouse, and how one lives life, he added, noting that “we’re all crazy in our own way.”
Psychologists know that functioning, successful adults have a one-third chance of having some type of mental disorder at some point in life, Klein noted. A mental disorder could include “adjustment disorder,” which entails difficulty adjusting to very common events, with some marked anxiety or depression.
“It’s critical to acknowledge that we are all neurotics, in our own ways,” Klein continued. “We are each the result of our personality, our childhood, our significant life experiences, our drive, our values, our culture. And we all have our own ways of doing things–of seeing the world, of making decisions, of interacting with people.”
Frankly, he added, “it’s amazing we can all agree to sit together for any period of time.”
What does this have to do with life as a financial advisor, small business owner, or experienced professional?
He illustrated with a story about “Ed,” a man who became very successful due to his “amazing talent” for connecting with people and building trusting relationships, but who was bogged down by management and supervision responsibilities. “Ed needed a chief operating officer who would focus on development and work with staff…[so Ed could] be free to stay outside the office while still having the ability to control major decisions regarding company direction,” Klein said. Once that happened, Ed was much happier and is now bringing in more new business.
Using that story, Klein made two points:
1) Even if an advisor can describe his or her personality and traits in great detail, it becomes “much easier to make decisions based on who you are. You’ve got proof of your talents, and proof of your limitations.”
2) Get help. “Uncovering these types of things over time, dealing with these hidden issues is absolutely the job of a well-qualified and trained business coach,” said Klein. Alternatively, “take advantage of the incredible value that you can pull from rigorous, tested, respected, reputable, assessment tools for your own development, [and] for the development of your practice.”
Those who are informed this way “can easily and quickly gain tremendous insight into an individual’s personality, values, emotional style and skills, motivations, and hot spots,” he said.
They “understand who they need to hire or partner with so they can effectively build their business,” he said. “They know how to create their practice in a way that fits their own style, personality, and values. They know what it means to be truly client centric. And the better one knows oneself, the better one can understand and relate to client situations.”
Don’t be frightened of what the results of an in-depth assessment reveal, he cautioned. “Embrace these results,” he said, noting that only by fully understanding personal strengths and weaknesses can a person make business decisions on how to work with the strengths and around the weaknesses.
A reliable, valid, tested, respected instrument can reveal things such as the tested person’s likely behavior, values, potential derailers, emotional intelligence, and skills in understanding others and managing relationships, Klein said.