A Friend Along the Way
As a financial counselor, I often find myself using phrases like “Sister, I feel you” or “Brother, you’re preaching to the choir”. One of the first steps in building a relationship with clients is to establish a rapport with them. Nothing sets the tone better than being open and authentic in sharing about your own financial struggles.
Clients often come into counseling with the burden of shame and guilt over the state of their finances. Hearing stories about my “journey from jacked-up credit” or sharing a laugh about my grocery budgeting strategy of hiding food from my teenage sons, quickly puts them at ease. Clients feel free to open up about their own issues, knowing that I am the last person to judge their money decisions.
Much can be gained from the open exchange during counseling, not only to the benefit of the client but also to the benefit of the counselor. I happily welcome their insights gathered in the quest to provide for family, send children to college, care for aging parents, and have enough left over to save for their retirement. Clients are well aware that I too am a fellow traveler on the road to financial wellness, and I welcome a friend along the way.
~ Darlette McCormick, AFC®
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