The historic market volatility over the past month has many financial advisors fielding emotionally laden phone calls and emails from angry clients wanting answers. Not only are the questions difficult, if not impossible, to answer in an unpredictable market, the negative feelings coming from the other end of the line can be overwhelming for the advisor. While there are no simple solutions to the current economical situation in this country, there are some easy techniques that financial advisors can employ to help their clients calm down and make more rational decisions regarding their investments and financial goals going forward.

The first step is to make sure your clients are thinking from the “Wise Mind.” The “Wise Mind” is a Buddhist principal based on the concept that each of us has a rational side and an emotional side to our brain. The “Wise Mind” is the part of the brain where the two intersect. The most prudent decisions are made when both minds are considered and the balance between the two or the “Wise Mind” is used in the final analysis.

A great example is the client who is blaming you for the market demise. His emotional mind screams, “My advisor is incompetent and I am really scared!” His rational mind says, “I need to carefully evaluate all the data in front of me and figure out a way to protect my assets going forward.” Reality lies between the two and goes something like this, “I am scared but it is important to get all the information before making a change in my financial plan.”

The advisor’s dilemma is that the unprecedented market fluctuations have resulted in many clients going directly into the emotional mind, picking up the phone and blaming them for something that is out of their control. The best way to handle this scenario is to use your wise mind and the tips below to counsel your clients and bring them back to a place of balance.

Here are few simple steps to follow to get your clients into their “Wise Minds”:

1. Draw a Picture. Draw two large circles that overlap on a blank piece of paper. Label one circle “Rational Mind” and one the “Emotional Mind.” Shade in the intersecting area and label this the “Wise Mind”.

2. Teach the “Wise Mind” Concept. I have used this concept with coaching clients, corporate clients, children, adolescents and adults. It is an easy theory to grasp and it helps people put words and a visual picture to their internal experience.

3. “What mind are you in right now?” Just ask this one simple question to help your clients identify what type of thinking they are currently using and how far they are from the “Wise Mind.” I have my clients put a dot in the circle to help me understand how entrenched they might be in one type of thinking. If the dot is far upper right, I know that they are firmly planted in the emotionally mind.

4. Talk about it. Simply have a dialogue about what mind they are using, how this current thinking style serves them and how it gets in the way relative to their financial decisions. Lastly, ask the clients to identify what would need to shift to tap into their “Wise Mind.” This not only gives you useful information for this meeting but for the relationship in the long run.

The “Wise Mind” technique is simple but it works wonders. So the next time the phone rings, ask this question before picking up the receiver, “Is my client in their “Wise Mind”?”

Author's Bio: 

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury is an accomplished national speaker, international author and sought after money coach in a unique position to help financial advisors with the emotional side of the business. Drawing on a decade of financial industry experience including working as a Commissioned FDIC Bank Examiner during the 1990's Savings and Loan Crisis, she has coached hundreds of professionals to be more emotionally intelligent. Kathleen brings a wealth of knowledge to help financial advisors achieve their monetary goals while helping their clients along the way. For more information about her one on one coaching services and corporate training, visit KBK Connections.