Widowhood - Loads of “Firsts”

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or what you did, they will remember how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

I’m reminded of the first office visit after my husband died.  Even though I had a great relationship with my advisor, I sat in the car feeling stuck, nervous and frightened.  Wanting to just drive away, I finally found a pinch of courage and went up the stairs.   Thankfully I was greeted at the door, offered something to drink and escorted to his office, which was a safe and inviting space.

I didn’t know what this discussion was going to entail because talking about money is hard enough.  Now we have to talk about money and death. I had a bazillion questions about my financial future, yet never voiced them.  The first meeting was about sharing space and talking about the beautiful, kind man that I had lost.  That is what I remember. 

We had financial paperwork and tasks to handle, yet it was underscored that first meeting.  The most important decisions, shared tasks and paperwork needed was emailed to me the following day. I left the meeting feeling supported, heard and valued!

 How do financial advisors create a successful first meeting with bereaved clients?

 Best practices:

  •  Create a safe, inclusive and inviting space to meet
    •  Ask them where they would like to meet
    •  Meet at their home, a public place, outdoors or your office
    •  Office space needs to be open, light with comfortable chairs and no desk/barrier separating the conversation
  •  Expectations
    •  The conversation will be emotional, be prepared for tears
    •  They will remember 10% of what you say
    •  90% of how you made them feel
  •  Communication
    •  Verbal communication is of empathy and care
    •  Written/email communication
      •  Summary of the meeting
      •  Actions or tasks needing attention
      •  Time and date of next meeting 

 

“You never get a second chance to make a ___________________ impression.”

 

To learn more click HERE.

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Your Guide on How to  Communicate Authentically With Someone Who is Grieving.

We have all had moments of loss. What you say is important.