Emotional intelligence – a solid career asset for IFAs

In any competitive marketplace, where you’re vying for business, key differentiators extend way beyond professional qualifications and experience. IFA’s must have all the necessary qualifications and ensure regulatory compliance in order to operate, that’s a given, but how can you stand out from the crowd?

The faster track to a successful career

Emotional intelligence is a personal quality that can make the difference between your ability to provide a mediocre service to your clients or establishing a more positive engaged client relationship. Your aptitude for patience, good listening, relationship building and likeability are qualities that will help you fast track your career through building successful client relationships. People buy from people, we should never forget that.

An article* by recruitment specialists Adecco stated that “a high emotional quotient has shown to fast track professionals up the corporate ladder”. It’s one of many reports making a similar point in recent years.

Let’s start with a definition

Also referred to as EQ, emotional intelligence acts like an inner barometer that enables you to monitor your own emotions and how you react and interact with others. It also applies to your perception of others and their behaviours and how these might influence your responses.

Some say that without EQ you simply cannot be a great leader or adviser, but it’s more than that. Resilience in the workplace, how you cope with stress, with challenging individuals, a ‘demanding’ client or an underperforming team member – they all require emotional intelligence if you are to respond effectively.

Can you learn emotional intelligence?

The answer is yes, you can. EQ can evolve and grow in response to your own desire to learn and develop. A good starting point is to take some time out to tune in to your own inner thoughts and feelings. See if you can increase your awareness of yourself, your mindset and how you are.

For many this is challenging in itself. Finding the time to stop and think, acknowledge thoughts and behaviours doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Some actually find it uncomfortable or even impossible to do, in which case it may help to ask someone else for their feedback, and remember, it’s all part of the learning process.

As you become more aware of your self and more attuned to others, you instinctively become more alert, and are in a better position to adjust your behaviours in response to those around you. It’s at this point you will improve your personal impact.

One step further

Whilst being attuned to your inner self is incredibly worthwhile, let’s focus on which additional attributes are needed to excel in the workplace. It’s where the ability to communicate effectively and build relationships is vitally important if you are to succeed in achieving your career ambitions.

Clients and colleagues alike respond well if they feel they are actively being listened to and helped to arrive at the important decisions they need to make. They are not just looking for your advice; they are looking for you to help them meet a need and they will evaluate your interaction with them not just on the technical merits of your advice, but on their relationship and trust in you as a person.

By listening well, asking good questions, uncovering their motivations, and responding with high EQ, you build relationships and enable your clients to explore their position and have a deeper understanding of their situation.

It’s these attributes that distinguish between an exceptional and ordinary IFA, and the business success they will likely experience. Emotional Intelligence is a core attribute that a professional needs to develop and continue to hone and perfect.

At Quiver Management, our courses in interpersonal skills are designed specifically to help professionals build deep and meaningful relationships with clients and colleagues. The courses cover topics including the art of good listening, conversation technique, how to ask quality questions, emotional intelligence and building trust and rapport.

If you’d like to find out more about these courses, and how they might be of benefit to you, please contact us at Quiver Management for a no obligation chat, we’d be more than happy to talk to you about it.

* How emotional intelligence may help you land a job (or promotion)

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