Chasing Positivity

The power of positive emotions

You cannot underestimate the power of positive emotions. They are the foundation for developing a "motivating environment" in which both advisors and clients feel at ease and more receptive to listening to each other. So, how do we create environments that nurture motivation and collaboration rather than inertia and mistrust?

We recommend the following as your first goal with prospective and existing clients: Lead with a positive emotional culture. This means taking a step back before reviewing or making recommendations about a client's finances or financial portfolio. Instead, during interactions with clients, lead with generating positive emotions. This approach will serve as the basis for trust, comfort and collaboration.

In an enlightening article published in the Harvard Business Review, Drs. Sigal Barsade at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Olivia O'Neill at George Mason University School of Business cite how the emotional culture of an organization can affect employees, customers, and clients. They identify several types of emotional cultures, including joy, fear and companionate love, which they define as the "affection, caring and compassion that employees feel and express toward one another."

The concept of emotional culture has significant implications for the manner in which financial advisors create a "motivating environment" featuring mutually satisfying, trusting relationships with their clients. These attributes are equally important when applied to our relationships with team members, colleagues or co-workers.

When we advocate "Chasing Positivity," we refer to reinforcing positive emotions in our clients as well as within ourselves. The most effective advisors have learned to identify situations that elicit both positive and negative emotions and recognize what those emotions are. As an advisor, you should not ignore or minimize negative emotions. Instead, you should try to understand them in order to find ways to minimize their impact.

Bottom line: Charismatic Advisors are skilled in creating motivating environments by establishing and maintaining a collaborative relationship with their clients — they communicate empathically, collaborate consciously and inspire action.

"When we advocate 'Chasing Positivity,' we refer to reinforcing positive emotions in our clients as well as within ourselves."

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The views expressed in these posts are those of the authors and are current only through the date stated. These views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions, and Eaton Vance disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied upon as investment advice and, because investment decisions for Eaton Vance are based on many factors, may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Eaton Vance fund. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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