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  • Writer's pictureChristy

Does Your Team Know Your Preferences?

Every advisor wants their team to run like a well oiled machine, but there is neither enough time in the day to spell out every direction nor the desire from most team members to have their every move dictated.

Many coaches suggest that advisors develop a full operations manual, but let's be honest - for most advisors this feels time consuming, tedious and despite best intentions in starting such a project, they rarely get finished. Instead, most teams and advisors develop a rhythm and common understanding of preferences through trial and error over time, and are hopefully able to avoid the pain of staff turnover in the process.

There are, however, ways that are much easier to implement that help shortcut that process and smooth the transition time, but surprisingly few advisors fully utilize them.

One suggestion is putting together a top advisor preferences sheet. This can include everything from expectations about how responsive the team will be with clients (perhaps differing by client segment), to the preferred way to frame your availability when booking a client meeting (implying you are successfully busy, but available: "I've got a few times tomorrow afternoon if that might work well," vs. not in high demand: "the whole week is wide open - pick your time," vs. too busy to help "Sorry - Joe doesn't have a time slot open for you for at least 4 weeks").

It can also include topics that can sometimes be harder to discuss in person, like use of cell phones at work, dress code preferences and policies regarding late arrivals, excessive break times or work place professionalism. Presenting the document as a new tool and walking the full team through many preferences at once not only ensures that the team hears, understands and can ask questions about how to deliver on the requests, but also protects against singling anyone out for past behavior that may be contrary to the preferences outlined and gives everyone a fresh start.

Another suggestion is to have each team member complete and share their own preferences sheet. Knowing that Bill finds it disrupting and loses efficiency when he is interrupted while prepping a PPA or that Sally prefers private rather than public recognition for a job well done will better allow the team to be respectful to each other and for you and your team members to work with each other in ways that allow everyone to be most successful, appreciated and fulfilled.

If your team could use help getting on the same page or it would be helpful to start with a template for either tool discussed above, reaching out to set up time with a coach might be a great place to start.

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