Chris Budd of Ovation Finance, and a valued member of the Quiver Management team, gave a talk to a hall full of financial advisers at the Personal Finance Society Festival of Financial Planning last November. He explained that whilst not everyone needs to be a coach, there are distinct benefits for clients if we can use coaching skills.

Offering advice to a client that is limited to the financial products available is so last Century, remarks Chris, who advocates the use of coaching skills before the planning and advice stage of any client meeting.

Chris is a strong exponent of helping clients reach their own decisions by providing the space and opportunity to understand themselves better; explore their own values; and question their current perspectives on their life plan (if they have one).

Our ability to listen and observe, understand that the meeting is about the client, not about us, ask open questions and resist any temptation to offer advice are the core coaching skills required at this stage.

Clients benefit by taking a more rounded view of their options, questioning assumptions and considering alternative points of view. It can be a pivotal moment when they gain clarity and conviction over what their next steps should be.

Whilst learning how to be a coach isn’t easy, practising and honing coaching skills to be a better financial planner is essential, Chris says, with good training. He has worked with Jan Bowen-Nielsen to create coaching courses specifically for financial advisers, and details of these can be found here.

You can watch Chris’ talk in its entirety here, and please don’t let the tank top put you off – there are lots of words of wisdom here to help you overlook the fashion faux pas!