VERY WARM WELCOME TO THIS UPLIFTING BLOG,
TO be a successful Financial Planner, is just like any other success, you need to know what was bestowed to you, you need to understand yourself in depth well i.e. what you are truly designed for. However, the truth of knowing ourselves is not an easy task and it is sad to say that most people do not know themselves well enough to attain the success they seek for.
To recognise and acknowledge the above truth is the first step working toward this direction. This is the main gist of our today's discussion. We need to constantly remind ourselves this Key Fundamental Success Ingredient, which is often be overlooked by majority of not so or successful people, if we construe that success is a journey rather than an end. To obtain its maximum advantages for your own benefits, there are special tools designed for you to discover your personality, your potential and your weaknesses. This is critically important for you to know more of yourself so that you have the right mix to stretch yourself to your fullest potential. When you know more of yourself, you can position yourself to a much better position to deal with all the relevant elements more effectively so as to produce maximum outputs AT ALL TIMES, so to speak.
Some of you may aware that PEAKS profiling technology is built on the well researched big five factors of personality conducted by research communication international. Psychologists and industry leaders are predicting that it will be the primary means of understanding and interpreting personality in the 21st century. It is strength based approach based on the following 5 factors of personality
P – Purpose, How you respond to work? Compelling, Spontaneous or Intentional
E- Energy, How you respond to relationship? Dynamic, Ready and Latent
A – Affirmation, How you respond to People and Authority? Encouraging, Approving and Questioning
K – Knowledge, How you respond to change? Visionary, Integrative and Structured
S – Sustainability, How you respond to Stress? Robust, Steady or Volatile
The Big Five model is a comprehensive, empirical, data-driven research finding. Identifying the traits and structure of human personality has been one of the most fundamental goals in all of psychology. The five broad factors were discovered and defined by several independent sets of researchers (Digman, 1990).
 These researchers began by studying known personality traits and then factor-analyzing hundreds of measures of these traits (in self-report and questionnaire data, peer ratings, and objective measures from experimental settings) in order to find the underlying factors of personality. It was further advanced by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Cristal based on work done at the US Air force personal laboratory in 1961.
The Big Five factors and their constituent traits have then be summarized as (OCEAN):
• Openness – (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience.
• Conscientiousness – (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless). A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behavior.
• Extraversion – (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Energy, positive emotions, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.
• Agreeableness – (friendly/compassionate vs. cold/unkind). A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others.
• Neuroticism – (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). A tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability.
Basically, it has been evolved from the most common type of personality profile, which based on 4 factor models, which also evolved from the ancient times where people categories human behavour with 4 elements. AIR, FIRE, EARTH and WATER.
Personality Plus - Phlegmatic, Melancholic, Sanguine and Choleric
DISC Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance
Carl Jung Thinker, Intuitor, Sensor and Feeler
Meyers Briggs Extrovert / Introvert, Sensor / Intuitor, Thinker / Feeler, Judger / Perceiver
The above are some of the commonly used and understood by the majority on personality profiling tools and technology, which place an individual in a fixed box or category, it labels an individual personality based on a fixed pattern of behavour and it does not addressed emotional intelligence, for instance.
Here, the question arises - what is Personality?
According to Oxford dictionary, Personality is the Characteristics and qualities of a person’s feeling and behaving. Personality is an individual’s characteristic and distinctive patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Dr Shirley Lim, founder of RCI (Research Communication International) and PEAKS Psychometric personality profile technology said personality is the soul of our being, the intangible part of what we are. Personality identification and management help us develop by choice, not by chance.
The above explanation is suffice to provide solutions for our frequent questions such as :-
Have you ever wonder why people behave in certain ways which is quite different from each other? What makes people tick? Can we predict an individual personality? Is personality subject to change over time? Can we control or change our personality to suit the circumstance? Are we unique in personality?
According to psychologist, we are all different and unique in our own way. If that’s true, is there a standard personality pattern that will suit an individual’s career? How do we know of our personality? Is there a scientific way to assist us to know more about our personality? Is the measurement valid, accurate and reliable?
To address our issues of how to be successful Financial Planner, let us examine his job function in details, stated below:-
1. Prospecting for clients
2. Assessing their financial needs
3. Agreement on their needs
4. Recommendation on the solutions
5. Cement the sale
6. Ask for referrals and post sales service
To achieve his end, he needs to accomplish the following :-
a) not only to be purpose driven, goal orientated, stay focus on meeting more prospects and writing high volume of plans and sales volume on financial products.
b) but also stay connect and engage well with his clients.
c) presents his product and plan with energy, passion and conviction that will captivate the clients.
d) listen attensively, gives appropriate and timely compliments, encouragements and edify others.
e) helpful, humble and honest
f) opens to client’s new ideas and suggestion.
g) creative in handling client’s enquiries and objections.
h) calm and handled stress very well. He always stay in control of the whole selling process and will not react unnecessary.
From the above explanation, it is naturally for those have the high score in PEAKS will do well as a financial planner. Right? Well, what it means was that someone with the high PEAKS score will have a natural fit to be a successful financial planner if he chose to become a financial planner. However, it doesn’t mean if your score is lower in any of the dimension, you will not be successful. What it means here is that you need to stretch yourself to reach the job requirements. It is very much different from one person to another on how much you can stretch your personality to suit the job requirement.
The most ideal situation is to have a natural fit between the job peak performance and an individual personality and traits. If there is a gap on the demands of the job and the personality, then it needs necessary support to fill up the gap should the gap is not too wide. When the gap is too big, there is unnatural fit and the person will be easily burn out on the job. Job performance will be affected and will take a great effort to maintain even at an average level of performance. Therefore, it is important for an individual to understand his personality and innate potential, so that he can align with his innate potential, balance job demand and personality resources, create synergy in self and others.
The next big argument is whether the product competency or personality more important? Some financial planners argued that product competency is more important than personality given the fact that they are managing the finances of the clients. There is no doubt that competent professional knowledge on all aspects of finances is absolutely important in planning and managing client’s financial future. But, be mindful that you need to engage well in order to build trust with your client first before going into any meaningful planning activities. That’s why sales professional always quote 90% of the time is on relationship building and the balance of 10% is on product selling. But, that doesn’t mean product knowledge is not important. When it comes to product selling, you need to know 110% of the product knowledge because the customer attention span is very short and you need to offer accurate and professional answer to handle it promptly and correctly.
As a financial planner, you are in a very privilege position to deal with your client’s confidential financial position. Relationship and trust building with clients is the starting point of your successful financial planning practices. The big question is how much do you trust yourself? Trusting yourself is the starting point of building sound relationship and also making sound decision. Your level of personal trust will determine whether you trust others. In return, others trust you or not.
By now, you can see clearly why you need to take the first step to understand and trust yourself better. By taking a personality profile test, you are doing yourself a great favour because it is an objective and unbiased way of knowing yourself MUCH BETTER.
JOINTLY WRITTEN BY ALEX LEE & James Oh
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