image by Midjourney /imagine prompt the brain of a person percolating with beautiful, unique connections in the style of expressionism
Your Brain Makes Connections and Curates
in Ways Unique to Your Client
ChatGPT can't identify the favorite dessert of your biggest client. Your CRM might be able to. But you know who can, for sure? You.
Your brain has been trained on different information than ChatGPT or the upcoming GPT-4. And, sometimes seemingly without a prompt, it will make a novel connection. It will have a novel thought. That's creativity. That's imagination. And although ChatGPT has officially been called capable of empathy, that "empathy" is based on predicting what word should come next based on the prompter's emotion expressions. Your empathy sometimes comes from the sound of someone's voice.
The reason ChatGPT can't answer simple questions about your clients is it hasn't been trained on information about your clients. Otherwise, it could answer many questions. But not all questions will be answerable, as AI doesn't have the memory of how someone looked when they said something, or how their voice quivered. It doesn't have the memory of the look in their eyes when you gave them the space to be silent long enough for them to gather their thoughts. It doesn't feel that pit in the stomach when a client pushes back in a way that suggests your communication or listening was off.
Your Brain is a Storehouse of Relational Memories
The formation of relational memories between you and long-term clients involves complex neural processes in the brain, developed over time by being with them at different times, in different states of mind, and throughout various stages in life. Studies have shown that when individuals are engaged in a shared experience involving emotion and attunement, their brainwaves can become synchronized, or "in sync." This phenomenon, known as "neural coupling," occurs when the brains of two individuals become aligned and their brainwaves are working in a similar pattern.
This synchronization of brainwaves has been shown to have a profound impact on the formation of relational memories. When you experience an event or simply a meeting with synchronized brainwaves, the memory of that event is strengthened and becomes more deeply ingrained for both of you. This can lead to a greater sense of connection as well as a shared sense of history and understanding. This shared understanding can help to establish trust and confidence between you, with a shared history of experiences and decisions.
Perhaps a client comes to you about an opportunity to purchase a vacation home. You listen carefully to her concerns and use your knowledge of her financial goals, values, and risk tolerance to provide a thoughtful response. However, with a history together and relational memories, you don't have to stop there. You may recall a similar experience your client had gone through several years prior, when you had evaluated a similar investment opportunity. You'll be able to remind your client of the details of that experience and the decision she made. You can also remind her of the reasoning behind her decision and the outcomes that resulted. Perhaps something happened in her life or in the world recently that has shifted her priorities or even her values.
Relational memories can play an important role in the advisor-client relationship and in financial decision-making. They require attention, deep listening, and attunement, and they require curiosity and creativity.
The Common Denominator
Attention, deep listening, attunement, curiosity, and creativity are predicated on your self-awareness and your ability to put your attention where it needs to be and understand what's happening in your own body and mind when someone else is speaking. They also require flexibility and the making of novel connections. From your mindset to your emotion regulation to your ability to sense the dysregulation in another person, to your creativity, the level of human service you're able to provide is contingent upon your experience of yourself in the moment.
Equip yourself to provide personalized and effective advice, and help your clients avoid costly mistakes or take advantage of opportunities they may have missed. Get clear, get grounded, and get the insight that allows you to connect in a way only you can.