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The virtual adviser – how can you make the most of working virtually in your advice business?

High performance. When you hear this term what does it bring to your mind? Is it high levels of profitability? Marketing and generation of new business? Developing trusting relationships with clients as you support them through the financial planning process? In all probability, for many, with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the world and markets, your relationship to performance has been radically altered, as has your way of working.

High performance virtual leadership

Keeping in touch with members of your team, your client base and your critical partners has, in many ways, never been easier.

We all have access to on-line conference and meeting tools but how easy is it to use them effectively? Can you do so in a way which really allows you to maintain business, allay the fears and address the concerns of clients and provide your team and/or you with a balanced working life? These things may not be so simple to achieve.

I’ve had feedback on this subject from a wide variety of business leaders from a range of different sectors over the last few weeks. In this article, I shall explore what they have been saying and provide some simple tips and techniques which might be helpful to you in your financial planning business as you get to grips with working virtually. They may even help lead the way to a new norm in working and meeting practice so driving your business forward for higher performance over the longer term.

Some of the simple things you can do to become more efficient and effective in holding virtual meetings are as follows:

“My virtual meetings keep falling over”

Schedule them to start away from the hour or half hour. These are the times everyone else around the world is logging into their meetings. You can have some fun starting yours at 13 minutes past the hour or 17 meetings to the next one.

“I’m finding it all rather exhausting”. “There seems to be no off button”

For many, working virtually is simply business as usual. However, if you are new to virtual meetings or new to them in this context it can feel exhausting. So what can you do to ease the pressure?

1. Try to ensure you are not doing back to back virtual meetings. If possible, allow yourself some time to step away, stretch your legs and move. This allows us to refresh our thinking or to complete on one activity before starting the next. In a work environment we are more used to walking to different meeting rooms, getting in the car to drive to our next venue, meeting different clients etc. all of which act to break up our day.

2. Create your own set of boundaries which help you to manage the length of your day and to do it in a way which also allows you to manage other completing priorities – children, dogs, exercise etc. Just because we are working from home does not mean we should be “on” 100% of the time and especially not into the evenings and weekends. Think about a rhythm that would be really healthy for you and your work style preferences.

3. By taking responsibility for the shape of the day and how we need to work we are starting to demonstrate our leadership of ourselves. As a result, we are more likely to feel energetic and resilient through this time of rapid change and adaptation. Invite others to do the same and maybe share some ideas and practices.

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