Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Archive for June, 2014

Lead With Laughter: An Interview with Tim Belber of Insurance Thought Leadership

TimBelberTim Belber is the founder of the Alchemia Group, which provides wealth transition planning and business growth strategies to family business owners. He is also a leading thought leader in the insurance and financial planning industries.  We’re thrilled to have his insights on Leading with Laughter to share with you:

Remember We’re All In This Together

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of advising clients that you can lose sight of the bigger picture. That’s when you’ll find the satisfaction with the work you’re doing going down. When the focus is on finding the meaning, everything changes.

Presenting a client with an alternative possibility in the relationship they have with an advisor – giving them an experience where the focus is on providing them with life-building, empowering financial tools rather than fear-driven, product-pushing – brings that satisfaction back. It’s a different approach that delivers different results, and I’d like to see the entire industry embrace it.

Humor Reminds Us We’re All Connected

Successful family businesses have role clarity. They’re able to separate their professional lives from their family relationships and history. Humor helps me explain this to the families we advise.

When I explain how it might be hard for the boss who is also a parent to forget that the 50 year old employee they’re talking to is also the same kid who used to bug them for chewing gum, people lighten up. They relax and start talking more. The session becomes more interactive and productive.

Confidence, Growth & the Ability to Laugh at Ourselves

Humor can help humanize you. You don’t want people to be intimidated by your role as a leader or expert. You can make more meaningful connections without that barrier between you.

There’s  a story I tell about my when I first started out in business, I was only 22 years old. I was very concerned that people wouldn’t take me seriously. In an effort to compensate for this, I carried a hard briefcase and I made sure that I always had a tax journal with me.

Then one day I stopped, laughed, and asked myself, “Why am I even doing this?”  Now I just carry a portfolio when I meet with clients – and I leave the tax journals in the office!  People laugh because they’ve had their own similar experience, in one way or another. Communication becomes much easier

Lead With Laughter

karen_handsAs a thought leader, Tim has some great insights both for the entire industry and for individual advisors. His stories reinforce how humor makes it easier to start meaningful conversations. Laughter has the power to overcome social barriers, by reminding us of universal experiences that put us all on the same level.

Another great lesson from Tim is that humor can help people understand complex concepts like ‘role clarity’ very, very quickly. Think about the parts of your presentations and professional communications that your clients have trouble understanding. Is there a way you can use humor to make your meaning clearer?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them below, or on the Karyn Buxman speaks Facebook page!

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