As mentioned in the previous chapter, the focus of this book is squarely in the category of interpersonal communication. Although this topic may seem straightforward, this area of communication can get quite complex. There are several important assumptions and concepts that frame the ideas and expected outcomes related to client–financial planner communication interactions. We are going to look at these elements of interpersonal communication in detail.
This chapter introduces some theoretical concepts to help describe what happens when a client and financial planner engage in communication. Don’t let the term “theoretical” worry you. A theory is a tool that helps explain or predict some phenomenon. Think about Einstein’s theory of relativity. This theory was developed to explain how mass and energy are related. Today, E = mc2 is part of the common scientific lexicon. One hundred and fifty years ago, however, this concept did not exist. Einstein’s theory has been rigorously tested. These tests ultimately led to the theory’s wide acceptance as a framework for explaining and predicting cosmic events. While we are not about to compare our exploration of communication techniques and tools to the importance of explaining the space/time continuum, we are, nonetheless, going to focus on concepts that best explain how effective communication occurs.
Given the focus of this book, we need to start by determining ...