Listening is a key skill for any adviser to a family or an individual but the time will come when the conversations turn to sensitive subjects - age related illness, mental slowing down, retirement, planning for the end of life - and at such times it is important to be empathetic but honest too.
This is a good insight into some of the challenges faced when working clients of a certain age, and shares some observations on things to look out for and ways to deal with the situations too.
Nobody is going to say that it is easy but burying your head in the sand is not an option either.
How to prepare for and have THAT tough conversation Our client, Mike, was rambling. He had just repeated the same story for the second time and he was very obviously struggling to keep up with the thread of our conversation. He shifted in his seat a lot and seemed uncomfortable with the discussion, which he tried to cover with odd, inappropriate grinning and joking. As we glanced around the room, we could see that others were uncomfortable too. All except for Ann, who looked at us with a hard stare as if to say “see, this is what I have been telling you! He is losing it!” Observing someone you know showing signs of age or mental illness is one of the hardest parts of being a trusted advisor.