CHAPTER 7Directive Communication

Imagine a meeting between a client and a financial planner. This is, in fact, their fourth meeting. The financial planner, in this scenario, has applied nearly all of the nondirective communication techniques presented in this book over the course of the first three meetings. She has also been very attentive to her nonverbal communication cues and mixed both open- and closed-end questioning techniques when working with the client. As a result, the client feels validated and accepted. A strong bond between the client and financial planner has been developed, with the financial planner being viewed as a trusted expert and friend.

If financial planning, as a field of study and practice, fell solely within the counseling domain, these outcomes would be considered a great success. Placing clients at the center of discussions helps to ensure that clients feel free to disclose personal information and encourages additional dialog and disclosure. In the case of the client and financial planner, it is precisely the use of nondirective communication tools and techniques that led to this point in the relationship. For many counselors and psychotherapists, this is a primary hoped-for outcome associated with therapeutic interventions. The reality is, however, that financial planners are interested in helping clients move beyond increased self-knowledge and awareness. Financial planners are engaged in creating client trust and commitment and bringing about ...

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