November 13th, 2019
It has been a hectic week. Your client and his wife are coming to your office for a meeting at 1:00 P.M. today. He sends you an email to inform you that he plans to bring his young adult kids, who happen to be in town for the week, along to the meeting. He asks that you “avoid the numbers” but find a way to engage them. If only you had a tool you could pull off the shelf to effectively engage this client-family…
Module Two of our Whole Family Advisor Associate Certification Training offers 10 Family Engagement Tools for advisors to implement in situations just like the moment described above. One of these tools, the Family Shared Values Exercise, would be a great tool to use with this family because it effectively opens up conversation among family members about what is most important to them in an introductory yet meaningful way.
You’ll notice that the tool offers a tracker worksheet for you to record their answers, as well as a sample page for you to see how it might look once you have completed it. Here’s how to use this tool:
- Give each family member a copy of the core values form. Have a copy of the tracker worksheet within the tool to record their answers.
- Share the following: “In our planning with clients, we not only take care of their valuables, but we also strive to truly understand their values. A family’s values are really their ‘why,’ and this is what ultimately drives their decisions and actions. In your hands is a list of core values and a space at the bottom of the list to write in an additional value, should you have a value not represented in the list. In the next 10 minutes, please read the list of core values and put a check next to the top 5 values that are most important to your family. Then add a note for each of the 5 values you selected, explaining why you chose each one. Any questions?”
- Once all family members have selected their top 5 core values, say: “I will now ask each family member, one at a time, to read his/her top 5 values. The goal is not to have everyone select the same values, but to learn about the top values of your family members and discuss ways to build upon those shared values going forward. So let’s all listen attentively now.”
- As each person reads his/her top 5 values, ask him/her to share the “why” behind the value selection. Ask: “Of all the values, what was it about that value that stood out as a core value to you?” This is a vitally important part of the process for you and them. Use your Tracker form to record each person’s values, making relevant notes as needed.
- To conclude the activity, ask the client(s): “What benefit did you derive from this activity?” or “What was helpful about this exercise?” If you sense your clients have had some insight that might require a concrete executable action, ask “How might you adjust your goals or approach given these insights?”
- Let them know you will summarize their top shared values and send them a copy. You may choose to compile their values into a paragraph, create a “word cloud,” or put them on a plaque and give it to the family. There are many vendors online that create beautiful artistic renderings of family values on canvas that could make meaningful holiday gifts.
If you’d like to add more tools like this one to your toolbox (and expand your skill set in other areas like how to design and facilitate multigenerational family meetings), REGISTER NOW to reserve your spot for our next WFA course beginning in February 2020.
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