CHAPTER 1An Introduction to Applied Communication

INTRODUCTION

The primary premise of this book is that the financial planning process can be significantly enhanced through the appropriate application of communication theory. By theory, we mean one or more models based on a set of premises that lead to explanations and conclusions. In the preface to this book, we introduced a nine-step framework as a way to conceptualize how financial planners interact with current and prospective clients. A key assumption embedded in this framework is the notion that financial planners who understand and practice the process of communication will be better prepared to help clients reach their financial goals. If you are a student enrolled in a CFP Registered Program, the nine-step process of communication may provide new insights into better ways to communicate with others. If you are already a financial planner, you may find that the framework validates much of what you are currently doing when working with clients. That is, the framework—and communication theory in general—can be used to endorse many of your current practices while providing information to help improve other aspects of interpersonal communication.

Consider the following example. Begin by visualizing a financial planning office. A prospective client makes an appointment to meet with a financial planner. On the day of the meeting, the prospect arrives 10 minutes early. She is seated in the office waiting area. At the appointed ...

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