In this episode, my special guest is Ed Jacobson, PdD, MBA. What’s special about Ed is his one of a kind Appreciative Financial Planning program. He has carved a niche among Financial Advisory Companies to train and coach them to connect more deeply with their customers and strengthen sustainable relationships and partnerships.
Ed Jacobson is a psychologist, business coach, consultant, and speaker, based in Madison, Wisconsin. Ed’s professional life is rich and varied. He’s served as an academic, a community mental health executive, a consultant in one of the big global firms, and for 15 years has he has focused his gifts in the financial advisory community. Ed’s also a published author, and he continues to write, train, coach, speak on the topics of positivity, emotional intelligence, appreciative inquiry, neuroscience.
Ed poetically describes his first encounter with Appreciative inquiry as as his creation myth. It was 1997 at an organization development network conference where he heard David Cooperrider speak about his work in Appreciative Inquiry (AI). It was fascinating to Ed, as it was so unlike any other change method.
His greatest insight came from Cooperrider saying: “organizations move in the direction of the first question asked.” That was the shift Ed had been waiting for. It was a true transformation point for Ed that was a deep truth, and it collided with all that he had been trained in as a psychologist and and MBA. It was clear to Ed, this perspective applied equally to individuals as it did to organizations.
To be true to oneself
This new experience and awareness felt so right for Ed. In order to be true to himself, he had to follow through. For any of us to be true to ourselves, it means a commitment, a vision and a drive. AI became Ed’s beacon.
Around the same time, he met and became friends with with George Kinder, founder of Life Planning Institute that brought life planning into financial advisory services. This meeting opened up the opportunity for Ed to bring his beat into this space – the appreciative perspective to financial advisory services.
Appreciative Financial Planning
Ed marries the 6 steps of the CFP Financial planning standards with the Appreciative Inquiry principles and process, bringing appreciative/positive interviews at each step of the CFP process, to address the strengths and aspirations of the clients. Ed “appreciatizes” the CFP planning process. There’s a shift towards refocusing and understanding what is “real”, that is, the human side is to be valued as equally real as the number crunching side.
What is Positivity to you, Ed?
“It’s a way of looking at the world – world is not just out there, but it’s within yourself. It begins at home – inside. It’s an abiding belief system, which is more effective and satisfying than not having this belief. It leads to greater wellbeing, however you describe it. It’s the best bet. There are tools, practices, techniques: it’s research derived and verified; and it’s evidence-based.”
Steps to integrate positivity into your life
- Self – check: A quick process, taking a fraction of a second to determine how do I act in that momen – am I being authentic, congruent in the moment?
- Pause to rest in moment of silent space to consider the choice points of what might come next.
- Give ourselvs the space to choose: Viktor Frankel quote :
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Dealing with negativity
- Do the quick gut check about my own learned behavior.
- Acknowledge the other person’s view – express empathy
- Wait – let other person process
- Suggest there might be other ways to look at it.
- Limit contacts with people who are negative
Reminder of Jane McGruger Watkins’s great insight that if we encounter someone who has difficulty seeing anything positive in a situation, we can suggest to them that since they’ve painted a really clear picture of what isn’t working, it usually means they have picture of how it should be, of how things should be. Ask them to paint me that picture.
- Positivity Skills for Professionals and other human
- The PATH Group
- Leadership Mastery ToolKit
- Executive Mindset
- Group Communcation
- Integration of Positive Approach, Systems Thinking
Links Mentioned in this Episode
- Edward Jacobson Web Site
- Ed on LinkedIn
- Ed on Twitter
- Appreciative Financial Planning PDF
- Appreciative Moments – Book
- The Kinder Institute of Life Planning
- CFP Financial Planning Standards
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