Appreciative Coaching with Jody Jacobson

a couple of weeks ago

In this episode, Jody and I talk about finding your ideal clients and then how to talk to them in a way that encourages them to tell you where they’re at and what they need. You want to set your client up to give you the answers that they need.

Appreciative Inquiry is “actually a philosophical approach and a methodology for asking questions” (Jody in the episode). You want to ask questions that align with your core values and are open enough to let the client affirm their values match with yours. That is the purpose of an initial prospect meeting.

If you make sure your core values match at the beginning you will have an easier time providing more than enough value that they appreciate. They want to feel appreciated. Just like you do. Appreciate each other.

We also mention a variety of personality tests (DISC, Clifton Strengths, Meyer-Briggs, etc.). The point here is to encourage new clients and new hires to take at least one to help with the “deciding if it’s a right fit” decision. They each have their own way of assessing personality, so we suggest doing more than one.

It might also be helpful to take one with your business mind and another with your personal mind. Maybe they overlap, and maybe they’re more different.

Either way, it gives you a place to examine yourself and your needs. Do you like where they overlap and differentiate? Do you wish there was more overlap? or more different? Which one do you want new clients and partners to resonate with?

If you have the answers to these questions you will have an easier time finding the people you want to work with.

Brevity is clarity. ~Sheryl Garrett

If you want some help with this Jody is also a fabulous coach with a fabulous FREE podcast. Check out the Path to Profitability podcast!

Transcript

Introduction 0:00
Welcome to digital marketing for financial planners. The podcast where you learn which digital marketing strategies are working best for advisors. We interview financial planners who share what is working or not for their practice. Here is your host, Jake Wagner.

Jacob Wagner 0:18
Welcome to the digital marketing 4FP podcast. I’m your host, Jacob Wagner. And on today’s show, we have Jody Jacobson from the Human Skills Institute. Jody, welcome to the show. And how are you doing today?

Jody Jacobson 0:32
Hey, Jacob, I am doing great today. Thank you so much for welcoming me.

Jacob Wagner 0:38
Yeah, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show. I’m really eager for what it is that you have to share with the audience. The first thing I want to start off with is just Can you tell me a little bit about you, your firm and how you came to the financial planning profession and being a part of it?

Jody Jacobson 0:55
Well, thanks, Jake. So I’m a strategic thinking partner for financial planners at this point, I pretty much work exclusively with financial planners and advisors, and work with individual practitioners and firm owners and their teams. And I offer business and marketing strategy development, action planning, training, and, and then implementation support. Because as we all know, having a plan is great, but implementing it is another thing altogether. So I do that through consulting and coaching.

Jacob Wagner 1:31
Nice. Well, and um, yeah, so I guess I, could you tell me just a little bit about, you already told us a touch about how you found the name of the Human Skills Institute.

Can you just share with us a little bit about how perfect of a name this is? And a little bit about what happens at human skills Institute when you’re working with a niche player?

Jody Jacobson 1:54
That’s a great question. Thank you so much for asking that.

So yeah, it’s a great name, because I firmly believe that it’s absolutely essential for planners, and really all professionals but I work with planners.

So let’s talk about financial planners to understand their core strengths, what makes them who they are, and not just their core strengths in terms of how they work, but how they think their personality, because to have a really fulfilling practice. And it’s important to work from strengths. I absolutely believe that however you want to look at it life’s either too short or too long, to try to fix your weaknesses. And it’s not fun, you end up being stiff and not real authentic.

And so I help planners, first, to really understand what their key strengths are, what their core thinking style is, what their core personality preferences are so that they can use that as a strong foundation for identifying who it is that they most love working with, to develop the business strategy, the offers the pricing models, the things that are going to allow them to be most authentic in their communications and just in their everyday work, and then to deal with marketing, from their strengths, as well.

Jacob Wagner 3:17
So how are you talking about, I really love the idea or the concept of just accepting your weaknesses, as you acknowledge your strengths, thinking least for me, it happens in that order, is also going into

Are you helping folks find the right like, help and support and support staff? Is it also about helping bring on another CFP, who might actually be on what the succession path or understanding if someone’s capable of the succession path and not as a new hire?

And then, you know, I guess, I’m going to ask you in a minute on how this relates to the outbound approach and how that works with prospects and clients, as you’re helping an advisor understand their how their weaknesses and their strengths line up? How does that work on the inside of company operations, especially when it comes to hiring both support staff and CFPs? Who might end up being on the succession path?

Jody Jacobson 4:16
Yeah, beautiful questions. So let me give you a couple of examples of things that I’ve been doing that I think illustrate that the best.

So this week, I worked on a project with a firm, where the goal was to understand the personalities and the strengths, thinking styles, all those things that I mentioned, of each member of the team, but of the end than of the team as a whole and across the individuals. And then so what we did is we talked about what does that suggest in terms of your ideal marketing strategy? What does that suggest in terms of who your ideal clients should be your target market because their goal is to get more clients and get the right clients.

To get more of the right clients with an eye on succession, to make sure that go to is going to be building a robust practice and continuing to bring in new clients. And what’s true for them is that what worked before isn’t necessarily working now.

But they’ve never really done a stop action to look at what’s the positive core, of our firm of our team? Do we each fit our roles really well? And how can we best support each other in particular, what would be the best marketing strategy for us as a firm in order to leverage the strengths that we have, and if we find that there are blind spots, which in this case, like everybody else, I mean, they have some blind spots, because they gravitate to really two very complementary personality types, which are great for serving financial planning clients and for working in their business?

But as is most common with the marketing issue with financial advisors, those skills of being able to zoom in and be very detail-oriented, and very specific and great fact finders and all of that can work against planners, when it comes to marketing, which is just a sort of a backward way of thinking as compared to financial planning, you have to zoom out see the big picture.

And so what we discovered is they don’t have a whole lot of that zoom out energy. Hmm. And so they need to understand that when they look to spend their marketing dollars, and they need to make sure that they understand who their current ideal clients are, so they can get more referrals.

And then they can have a good internal marketing plan, where they’re building per client revenues and getting more referrals. And then I do market research. And this gets around to do what you the second part of what you’re asking, they need to do market research to really understand who their current ideal clients are. So they can find out the psychographics. And the demographics.

And so where do those people look for information? How do they make a referral, and then they’ll know how to use services and how to invest properly and services like what you offer. I mean, you can’t really do an effective job in hiring somebody to work on search engine optimization SEO for you, if you don’t understand what the keywords are going to be for your ideal clients.

And the best way to find that out is by doing market research, with your current, ideal clients. So it all starts to work together in a very strategic way. So if you understand yourself really well, and your team really well, and your ideal clients really well, and which ideal clients you’re going to resonate with best, you can develop a marketing strategy, manager investment, and support for the marketing because you don’t have to have a new brain. It’s much more cost-effective to outsource and, and bring in others who can, who can help with that.

Jacob Wagner 8:06
and build on what you’ve already had to in

I mean, you have a bunch of people that you’ve been that you’ve loved and worked with for decades, let’s take each of the different pieces of those folks that you truly love, put them into what I call an ideal client worksheet. That’s one of the things that we do with our clients.

And so then you end up creating a fictional character as well. And there’s actually some like compliance flexibility that happens right then too, because now you’re talking about a fictional character. So there’s no ability to reveal confidential information or anything of the like, and, and also, as we step into the digital world, something I like to tell clients is that Facebook’s real job is to understand what we like. And Google’s real job is to understand our intent.

And so even if you do find the right way to get in contact with an ideal client, you also have to pop the question at the appropriate moment when they’re actually considering that stuff and open and available. And, and really, I don’t think it’s a good idea at all to think about businesses in terms of target markets.

I think that understanding it from a persona, avatar perspective, and ideal client perspective, whatever you want to call it, it just provides the robustness that’s required to really do what is required of the planner or really any small business nowadays with digital marketing, and especially in the COVID world where this is our primary way of reaching people nowadays.

Jody Jacobson 9:31
Yeah, yeah, I agree completely.

And so let me just define when I’m talking about the target market, let me define what I mean. I’d be curious to know what you mean by the target market as well.

So one of the things that’s very efficient and once you understand who your ideal client is, is then understanding where you’re likely to find the most people like that. It might be a neighborhood, it might be a geographic region. It might be a profession. It might be a hobby. Michael Kitces talks about the planner who’s a bass fisherman and all these clients are bass fishermen.

Jacob Wagner 10:10

And he’s a billion dollars a year, or something like that. Right? Oh, bass fisherman. Yeah, right.

Jody Jacobson 10:17
So all the target market does is it allows you to have kind of a community or a place to target, at least, especially your communications. And so it allows you to speak to a particular type of person, it doesn’t mean that you can’t serve anybody else.

So for example, my target market, if you will, is financial advisors, financial planners, because

the best way to become a go-to resource in a particular community is to be known in that community.

So target market allows you just to try to maximize your reach to the kinds of people that you most love serving allows you to speak to them on your website to choose the pictures you put on your website to be relatable to them, it doesn’t mean that you cannot serve anybody else. Mm hmm.

Jacob Wagner 11:12
So I think so I actually probably for my own just terminology, I think your way of using it is great.

But so what I’ve thought about a target market, it’s when a client or a prospect comes in, and they say that I want to my target market, I ask them who their ideal client is. And then their answer is, I want 55 to 70 year olds who are ready to retire. That’s sort of a target market.

And I see where they’re sort of going in it. And maybe there are even numbers to help them pick what was going on there. But that’s almost sort of a pre-state what you’re just talking about.

If you have an ideal client, which is the individual person and individual person, and that’s describing the psychographics, the likes, the dislikes, the magazine, say like to read the folks they like to listen to what TV shows there about all of that kind of stuff that starts to give you greater insight on where you’re going to find them.

And then it’s from what I’m hearing from you is that you’re taking the next step with that. And also going back to I guess the sociological perspective to have, it’s like, this is the kind of person I want to work with, well, where am I going to find the most of them. And that’s how you’re using a target market is it’s almost like, Well, you know, if I’m going out and I’m fishing, I know that I like to look, I like this pond over here. And there might be some good fish in that pond. But I’ve got to pick. And so I’m going over here because that’s going to have more of what I’d like to take out of the pond. And it makes a lot of sense.

Jody Jacobson 12:45
And, and I like the way you say that more of what I like to take out of the pond.

I work with financial advisors because it’s the kind of person I love working with them to have a balance of being a little bit nerdy and analytical like me. And very client-focused also like me, so it’s a good match.

And so hopefully, hopefully we choose people that we just have a natural affinity with either people we have a natural affinity to or people we’re most equipped to help and to enjoy helping them even if we don’t have that same natural affinity that I’m describing.

Jacob Wagner 13:23
Well, it’s a part of it for me as well as it’s, it’s, I love the conversations that I have with financial planners.

The third one I have been to more continuing ed courses that I haven’t gotten credit for because I never needed to know I can count definitely more than most CFPs need to and every two years and all of that kind of stuff. So I just understand the business now.

So understand the profession, especially with what my dad taught me. But it’s also good for me, it’s really, it’s the impact that I want to make in this world is by working with financial planners, you know, a part of how I position it is that I want to be a marketer because I feel like a lot of planners, even just some of what you described earlier like it’s not necessarily their strongest first language.

And so I want to help with that. I think it’s a good place to do so. But the reason why I want to do that is is that we all need help with our financial lives. And then as financial planners, and as the profession gains more traction, more common knowledge amongst folks that they’re getting the help that they need. It’s changing the industry too.

But there are the most people have at least heard the word or the term CFP, by now, whether they understand what it means and how that person can help them that’s still evolving. But versus 20 years ago, where no one knew what that really meant. And you had to define it every single time. And it’s kind of like Zoom in the COVID world. I’ve used Zoom for like eight years. But now that we’re in this pandemic situation, I haven’t had to train anybody on how to use the buttons.

Jody Jacobson 14:57
Yeah, it’s funny for some of us, you like you and me, it’s just business as usual. Because we’re used to working by Zoom and phone and Skype and whatever else there is that people want to use.

Jacob Wagner 15:13
Yeah, and being able to be a digital nomad and being like [at] FPA retreat and go on the retreat even more for an hour to catch up on work. And yeah, being able to have that away. That’s how we conduct our work lives. And very different than if someone’s a waitress or something like that right now.

Jody Jacobson 15:32
Yeah. And, you know, I’m sure that you’ve been doing this too. But one of the things that I’ve been working on with my clients during this period of time, because I, again, I do business and marketing, strategy, coaching, and little bit of life coaching, because I, you know, are the

most of the planners I work with are in some kind of major transition.

Although, I mean, at this point, I think in our lives, most of us are

Jacob Wagner 15:56
kind of 24 of the entire

Yeah, the species has a case of transition right now. Yeah. Yeah, we’re clearly in the middle of no-decision. So, right.

Jody Jacobson 16:06
But one of the things that I’ve been helping them with during this time is to kind of face the dragon, do some of the things that scare them, in order to kind of get to that next level.

And one of the things that scares a number of the planners that I’ve worked with, during this period of time, is doing video and using social media more, but really kind of breaking through the fear of being on camera.

And, and so we’ve been working a lot on that. And it’s kind of looking at creating a schedule, a seasonal schedule of topics to focus on, and having a good short script, and then how to leverage that content, like you and I were talking about for the recording, about using voice to text software, so that they can repurpose everything that they do, because if you put together the content for one short video, you can transcribe it and use it as a blog post, you can put it on LinkedIn, you can put it on Facebook, you can tweet it.

Jacob Wagner 17:05
And you can actually probably have an assistant do some of those things. And she’s a really difficult step because or whether it’s a paraplanner, or an office manager or something like they don’t necessarily understand the inside of the profession.

And so by having something that they can scan a transcript of and say, I really like how that sounds, then it’s probably good enough for primetime. And that’s great efficiency.

Jody Jacobson 17:30
Yes, absolutely.

Jacob Wagner 17:32
So Jody, I have a question for you. Can you just like your I’d love if you could just tell us a little bit more about some of your tools and your services and your approach. As we dive in? Like, how what does this look like when you’re working with an individual firm, or an individual planner and these life skills and coaching and just some of what you’ve shared with us so far? How’s it playing?

Jody Jacobson 17:54
Yeah, thanks. Well, it’s one of the things that I like to do, whether I’m working on a consulting project that’s about long term planning, or that team project that I was describing, in order to build a marketing strategy that builds on strains, or whether I’m helping female planners in their 30s and 40s. You know, who started in the firm when they were 20 something as an intern, and now want to be taken more seriously, which kind of starts at home, to change their own internal dialogue. I always like to start with doing a set of inventories and things like things that listeners have probably heard of like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Colby Clifton strains, and then I have

Jacob Wagner 18:42
a good I also have to plug Jody, I have to plug the disc profile and our crystal nose podcast that we released a couple of days ago. It’s wonderful tools. And the disc program has been around for 100 plus years, too, and they can give you some of those tests. Everyone who’s listening, if you go over and listen to that episode, you can go to a place where you can take everything that God is talking about here and get those assessments for free.

Jody Jacobson 19:04
Oh, wow. Okay, well, it’s good. That’s good to know. Well, so one of the things that I do, I administer those as well, and including a couple of others that come more out of learning theory. So they’re more thinking style oriented, and a little less workforce oriented. I like to use disk is a wonderful tool. For me, it has a little too much of a human resources bias to it. And I like to use a whole battery of these because each one has biases from the people who developed it. And so I like to do what in statistical analysis would be called analysis of analyses. And look at a profile pulling the best insights from from the best of what each of those inventories has to offer. And then we can look at what the individuals business goals are. So whether it’s getting more clients, which would mean that we work on developing a marketing strategy and the right offers and the right pricing model, and under and identify target market and revamp the language for their website. And I’ll coach my clients on how to convert a prospect to a client, because there’s sort of an art to having that conversation, or having a stronger team, whatever it may be, in order to grow their practice or to grow their self esteem, and their leadership capabilities, we’ll build on that foundation of understanding their signature, ways of being working and thinking so that they can sustain the success. So I know it’s a little bit conceptual each client is is very different. But we’ll you know, we work on those things, either through an ongoing coaching relationship, which tends to be very intimate type of relationship, that’s all private and, and we have a plan of action. And then we also deal with things as they come up, because the best way to learn is just in time, whether it’s a longer term consulting sort of project, I just am absolutely convinced from the wealth of my life experience, my fairly eclectic, training, and working with planners, for as long as I have, that, it’s truly the best way to move forward. And, and also, I think, for those of us in who are on the helping side of it, I’m able to adjust my approach, so that I can be most effective in the teaching aspects, and the peer coaching aspects of what I do, so that I can gear it toward how my specific client thinks. But we do any number of things, and really, at the core of so much of it, is building greater confidence. And again, that’s why it’s so important to really understand your strengths I find with a lot of women in in financial planning, a lot of them got into planning, because they’re very strong analytically, and they were really good in math. And they tend to over the years to marginalize some of their softer skills, which again, Seth Godin says, that’s a competitive advantage moving forward. And so some with some of my clients is the prospect of help helping them feel really good about some of those strengths that they’ve been marginalizing, and to unblock those, unleash them, and really apply them. And the same thing is true in teams. Businesses have cultures, and sometimes the culture can unintentionally block certain people from being most productive. And again, I see this a lot with women who are really ready to move up into leadership roles.

Jacob Wagner 23:00
So how do you help empower How do you empower a woman who doesn’t seem like she’s actually like she’s she’s got skills to provide to our firm. And those skills aren’t necessarily being recognized by the firm, and there’s a potential there, it sounds like it’s a redirection of awareness or energy or what, but how do you help unclog those pieces of confusion?

Jody Jacobson 23:30
Yeah, well, another great question. First of all, it’s very individual. But again, a great place to start with that is to do this battery of assessments, and then we talk about it. And in the process, then I get a lot of information about a life story, the internal story is that a woman is telling herself, and very often, very often, what I see is that she joined the firm in her early 20s. She was, she was very young when she joined the firm. And so she was seen as a dutiful daughter, and now she’s a powerful woman 1215 years later, but she may still be telling herself internally that the way to success is to work really hard to put my nose to the grindstone, and to always say yes, and to work really hard, and be beautiful and not ask for much.

Jacob Wagner 24:30
Besides sort of also playing into some sort of like archetype situation. I mean, is it sort of like the lessons learned from how to, it’s like unlearning some lessons that were made to learn from a institutional culture perspective and then figuring out how to apply those untapped skills to her business.

Jody Jacobson 24:51
Absolutely. And that’s really well stated. So much of this is so much of that story gets set up in school at home. Just throughout life in the workplace, and we all bring our stories into the workplace, there’s this, there’s a really good book with a terrible name that was recommended to me, ages ago, it’s called your boss is not your mother could just as well be your boss is not your father. And it’s about how we all bring those storylines with us to work. And so it’s just natural that we get to a point where we have to, until some of those stories. And I mean, it’s always remarkable to me to work with a young woman who’s highly successful as a financial planner. And she’s been working since she was in her early 20s. And so being in in the workplace, and working so diligently in such a focused kind of profession, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for some of that developmental growth. And so she reaches the point where she’s about to become partner. And she wants to ask for, for certain things moving forward in this next stage of life. And usually, there’s some kind of triggering event where her old way of being just as too constraining, and she’s really ready because there’s something that she sees on the horizon that she really wants. And she knows she’s got to change her story, because nobody else is going to do that for her. And the best way to have other people see you differently, is to change your own internal monologue is one of my clients like to call it, absolutely, you have to work on yourself first, so that you can bring that back to your spouse, your family, your friends, your business, your clients. And I think in that order, so I think, as I review with you, the remarkable thing that I find is that it’s a transformation, by the time somebody gets referred to me and we start working together, and it’s a surprisingly quick transformation. Because people don’t usually work with a coach or a consultant, until they’ve been thinking about something and they have a certain amount of discomfort around it, one of my favorite theorists calls that positive disintegration. And they get to a point in their careers where the personality constructs that are guiding them are starting to feel more like a straight jacket. Because because there’s something newer there’s, there’s, there’s a part of them that’s wanting it to become and those old ways of being are keeping them from being who they really are. Because as we know, a lot of those old storylines were written for us by other people. Mm hmm.

Jacob Wagner 27:43
And this is done just before we could agree to them to the times we consented to that agreement before we knew how to speak.

Jody Jacobson 27:50
That’s right. And this doesn’t just happen to women. I know it also, I work on the same kinds of issues with with my male clients, it’s just that is a trend that I that I’m seeing more and more is women who are reaching the point of being a partner in the firm, who see that as a way of sort of changing the contract a bit.

Jacob Wagner 28:13
And getting on a more of a level playing field, then as well as that sound, right? That’s right. So I want to say a very fancy phrase from one of my mentors, Ken Wilber. And I think this is this is the extremely wordy way to say what you said. But it’s important. And a lot of the times, folks, as I’m speaking whether in person or on these podcasts, I am using the interco paradigm and it is the subject of one stage of life becomes an object in the subsequent stage of life. And basically, what that means is those things that we held on to and we were thought of and even had a strong portion of our identity identity attached to it as you grow. And as you mature, those things start to slough off. And you can see how those those elements are to the at the end of the day, you’re you you aren’t your job you are who you see in the mirror, even necessarily, but you’re you with that simple feeling of being. And a lot of times, it’s just so hard to unpack all of the societal agreements that we’ve we’ve come across and actually do that hard work to really understand who we are and how we want to put ourselves forward and to have the human skills to really be able to be the person that we want to be when we’re reaching out and working with talking to the world around us.

Jody Jacobson 29:40
Wow, well, thank you for thank you for saying it’s so beautifully. Absolutely. And again, one of the reasons that I like to do those assessments and then exploration of core strains at the very beginning is because in appreciative inquiry, one of the theories that I really liked that my mentor James Magruder Watkins was working on the idea of continuity and novelty and transition. So that in positive change, the continuity piece would be akin to doing those those personality and thinking style inventories, learning style inventories, work style inventories, and looking and having the client look at, which is what sounds most true here? And what do I really want to build on and pull forward with me and I can let other pieces fall away. But this is, this is a Yeah, that’s, that’s who I am. That’s how I feel and having some language around it, having some reliable research data around it can make it can help a person feel better about those, those aspects of themselves. But then, what do I want for myself? How do I want to be? And what do I want to be able to do five years from now 10 years from now, whatever timeframe it is, and then the transition piece is? So how do I build on the best of what I have to work with? How do I pull forward those parts of myself that I like best that I trust this that I feel most confident about? How do I build and give space for some of the pieces I may have marginalized over the years, in order to live into that future that I most want to create? And that’s sort of a philosophical underpinning of the work of the human skills Institute. And then there’s a concrete piece, which is all the tools and techniques and, and strategies, action plans and implementation practices and habits that it takes to actually make those things happen.

Jacob Wagner 31:45
So what are some of the challenges that you frequently see, as you’re working with clients? What are some of the some what some of the harder examples of what folks might have to wrangle with as they’re coming to understand the new them

Jody Jacobson 32:00
as they’re coming to understand the new them? Well, the best way that I can answer that is, uh, this is gonna sound like, like a personal plug.

Jacob Wagner 32:14
Okay, and part of what I wanted to have you on here about what it is that you’re doing now? Awesome, it is, thanks, Jake.

Jody Jacobson 32:20
One of the best things that I did any of us can do is, I think to find the right coach at those times, who as Ed Jacobson used to say, you know, can hold an unwavering positive image of who we are, what we’re capable of our potential for the future and to be from developmental psychology, I remember being fascinated by the idea that parents are mirrors their reflective lenses for their children. And so, you know, our facial expressions or children drink that in, and it acts as a mirror. So when they say something, and we’re really excited about it, they feel great about themselves. And in a way, a coach or consultant can help with some of that reflection, that it’s wonderful to have somebody who can celebrate your incredibly epiphany, your amazing Aha, when you when you decide, yeah, I’m gonna rewrite that story, you know, and then I get the email from my client, who a week before was feeling like she was in the wrong practice and, and she decides to stand up for herself and she gets a $15,000 pay increase, by just having the gumption to ask for it. And being able to celebrate that and, and see how to build upon that. for them. Their next approach is great, because we don’t have our parents anymore. And maybe they were one of the reasons, you know, that we have some of these negative internal monologues going on at the zoo for a number of clients, for worse

Jacob Wagner 34:01
and better. I think all of us get some of that. That’s why Sigmund Freud is still you know, a lot of psychology is down on us methodology, but there is clearly something he’s tapped into that gets all of our codes.

Jody Jacobson 34:14
That’s right. So I mean, that’s what my coaches do. For me, that’s what I hope that I can do for my clients is just healthy, that reflective lens of, of who of who they are, right now and, and also reflective of who they can and will be

Jacob Wagner 34:33
security. I want to use this example of this client that you’re talking about. And you’ve talked to us a bit about what her challenges were and also you know, why it was worth it. And it also sounds like a lot of folks who come to you that they’ve done the the dark night of the soul part and they’re they’re starting to come the dogs coming and they see the new reality that they the new world they want to go to, but there’s also just to us You know, bite your fingernails off and go and take the leap and do it in this case, like, Is there anything? If you’re talking to this woman, like you talk to her after she’s been a part of this practice for a long time? And you know, clearly not a next gen, even if she’s within the age range? What would you tell her if she was? Uh, do you have anything to tell her? If she was starting all over again?

Jody Jacobson 35:21
If she was starting all over again,

Jacob Wagner 35:24
whether it be a different way to position the entire time? Or is this just and this is really tough stuff. I mean, maybe it also just took 10 or 15 years to have done the personal work to decide to say, like, No, I want to be a part of this firm. And I think I need to get paid better. But I also know everything you’re talking about is very much goes back to the pay differential between the sexes, and the men are more likely even just in like the hiring process to ask for more money than a woman is. And also, when it comes time for that race moment, it’s, I started a business instead of asking for a raise, I guess. I know, my last, my last company, they they didn’t survive, but but still asking for a raise is one of the hardest things that a person can do regardless. And yeah, what would you tell somebody? If they were, if you could start them? If they would do? Sorry, I’m rambling in my question. What they is it best for them to have had to do that hard work? Or would you like to start with someone early? And you’re wrangling with some really big issues that I think this is each person stealing with some of our societal stuff? Do they need to have just clocked in the amount of time? Or can you give them advice on the beginning of it so that they would never have to experience these problems in the first place?

Jody Jacobson 36:44
Wow. Maybe we need to consult with Ken Wilber on that one. He has several chapters.

Jacob Wagner 36:52
I’m sure he talked for at least an hour straight on that. Yes. So I’d love it. If you could just expand a little bit on the nature of like, what is appreciative inquiry? And how is it different than the conversation that you and I are having right now? Oh,

Jody Jacobson 37:12
well, I don’t know that. It’s all that different. But appreciative inquiry. It’s, it’s actually a philosophical approach and a methodology for asking questions. And so they’re scientifically designed questions. And, you know, when you get really good at it, it looks really easy. But there’s an art to it. There’s a science to it. And it’s basically a way of looking at what’s right here, and how can we build more of it, it was developed, I’d say it was operationalized. It was put into a methodology by David cooperrider. at Case Western University, which is where I got my appreciative inquiry master practitioner certification. And I first been introduced to appreciative inquiry by Dr. Ed Jacobson, my late has been in business partner, and I was I was introduced to it with my heels fairly dug in, because I came from more of a systems thinking, scientific minded sort of approach. But what I found with appreciative inquiry, is that learning the questions, the sequence of questions that build on your positive score strains, your core values, and then help you have a vision for what you want to create in the world. Because in appreciative inquiry, we say if you can see it, you can be it. And that words create worlds. So it’s a fairly word based kind of an approach. But I use it in all of my, in all of my coaching and all of my consulting, which, again, is one of the reasons I like to use the assessments at the beginning. So we can see what are your positive core strengths, and not just from the stories that you tell me. So in appreciative inquiry, it would be from stories of your peak experiences when you’ve been your most effective. And I also like to bring some data into that, some measurement into that through the assessments. And so you can have verified faith and moving forward and that these really are your core strengths, and you have experienced success with that way of being in the past, that even if you’re going to be approaching something really scary in the future, that you can have the verified faith that that you’re going to be okay. And so, so it really truly that’s kind of a Ken Wilber esque way of saying that appreciative inquiry has a methodology behind it. So if we were to do this interview using an appreciative inquiry methodology, there would just be a very particular sequence is where we’d be folding. We’d be inquiring into meaning and then taking that meaning and folding it into the next set of questions like like folding egg whites into a into a batter. It’s it’s a sequential process that builds on itself and it’s very generative, and it doesn’t slough over the obstacles. It doesn’t whitewash the the problems and the limitations. It’s just builds the scaffolding around some of the weaknesses, so that you can use your strengths to do what Peter Drucker called that the role of the effective executive. And his famous Harvard Business Review article, he talked about how the role of the effective executive is to understand his or her people’s strengths, and to build upon those in such a way that weaknesses are made irrelevant. And using an appreciative process is a great way of doing that.

Jacob Wagner 40:47
Absolutely, and I know, we haven’t been able to spend too much time in person yet. But I also know what I’ve learned from Ed. And you know, some of the other just I’m on the receiving end, because I haven’t been trained in appreciative inquiry. I’ve just seen it in action. And I just I feel really heard, I feel like there’s sort of a warm hug with how the conversation occurs that even if I have some sort of default, were not my best or didn’t feel like I put my best self forward that and would still appreciate that and see what good I was trying to do the positive benefit that I was trying to make and and let the negative portions kind of slough away not to ignore them. I mean, there was definitely acknowledgement but we still put our focus on the positive parts. And in the something I just always really appreciated about him. Yeah. Yeah. That’s wonderful, along with his incredible puns. What kind of dollars for you guys forget? Pardon me? You’re a paradox.

Jody Jacobson 41:57
Is that right? Yeah, he likes to tell people that that the reason that he wanted me to get my PhD is so that he could introduce us as a paradox. Are hyphen o hyphen. DLCs.

Jacob Wagner 42:13
Yeah, so, so grateful for everything I’ve learned from him. Yeah. Yeah, me as well. And the time we’re recording with this, we’re also we’re coming up on, he’s been away for too long and too little for you right now and for all of us, and just appreciation for the process that that you’re going through. And when we will and your strength for what you share with us to thank you. It’s it means a world to us either. If it’s here on this podcast, we’re on the what is phonology one as well.

Jody Jacobson 42:45
Well, and you and you and Natalie are your models. For me in honoring the way you’ve honored your dad’s legacy and the your Finology podcast and the wonderful work that you’re doing. Very inspiring. Thank you. Thank you, we appreciate it. And in a similar vein, it’s amazing how much work it is to get some of these what seemed like a small step accomplished. You and that had a plan. And it seems like you’re still rolling that plan out. And I know it’s the same for me in those regards.

Jacob Wagner 43:18
Yeah. Yeah. So Jodie, as we’re getting towards the end of our podcast here are recording, could you are there resources? What is it that you want to make sure that the audience has that they can go and look up leader? Even just I’ll get a heads up on this one everybody needs to go to is it human skills? institute.com? And or is it the human Institute? Human skills Institute comm Where should we go to learn about your stuff? And what would you like, make sure other people or people also know about?

Jody Jacobson 43:52
Well, thank you, Jake. Yeah, the listeners can feel free to email me at Jody at Jody Jacobson calm and it’s God why, and Jacobson is s o n. So I got two easy names to say. But they could be spelled a number of different ways. So Jody at Jody Jacobson calm, or there’s a way I’d be delighted to offer listeners a free 30 minute consultation, if they’d like to talk about how to transition from where they are to where they dream of being in their practice in their lives. Or if they’re dealing with a major transition. In their practice, they have a vision for, for what they want it to be for the meaning they want to create in their practice, or they just want to make sure that they get more ideal clients or whatever it is that they’d like to talk about, that would help them get from where they are to where they want to be. I’d be delighted to offer a 30 minute consult and there’s a there’s a registration link on my website at human skills Institute dot Come, or again, just send me an email. And we can do it that way. And, Jake, there’s, there’s a question you asked me before and I don’t want to skirt it, I just want to make sure I circle back around and address it about things that I would suggest to my clients to do differently if they had to do over if they could do it all again. And it’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot just even in my own life, because I mean, I’m a person, I have a PhD. But yeah, I mean, I dropped out of college, at least five times. I took a few roads less traveled to get to where I am, and I never really planned my life. And I’m pretty darn happy with, with how it’s all turned out and is still turning out living in a rather emergent way. And so, if I had my life to do over again, yeah, I’d probably be an engineer or an industrial engineer, or, or something of that sort, I probably do a lot of work that’s, that’s similar, or maybe exceeds what I what I would have done had that been my training. And I would say, the thing that I would invite everybody to do is to practice some forgiveness, that of themselves. Because we, we have each day as it comes. And I’m sure some people have planned their lives out to the tee and, and things have worked out well. But for most of us, there starts and stops and disruptions like the Coronavirus that make us question whether we feel fulfilled, and there’s enough meaning in our lives and, and so I would invite everybody not to beat them to if they’re beating themselves up on woulda, coulda shouldas. To stop it sounds like a should. And I apologize for that. When it said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And so I’m a great proponent of readiness. And I’m a great proponent that what makes us better for our clients are all the struggles that we went through to get to wherever we are now however we got there. And so I just didn’t embrace it. I mean, it’s what we have. And it’s it’s what we can build upon, who knows where we’d be if we, if we take in a different course, mentoring is wonderful. And a lot of younger women in planning are getting some wonderful mentoring, I happen to see a generation of women who just didn’t have the benefit of that. So find a mentor whenever you can, and wherever you can, whether coach, clergy, a close friend, whoever it is, it’s just never too late. And we are, we are made of all the wisdom that we’ve learned through the right decisions, the wrong decisions. And all of that.

Jacob Wagner 47:56
agreed on that show that No, God, I think that I think we should let this call come to a close. And I’m sort of slowing down my voice a little bit and just feeling into everything which has shared and just finding my own inner appreciation. I want to ask before we go to bar down this, is there any last pointers or anything like that you want to make sure to share with the audience or you want to come to the close?

Jody Jacobson 48:29
Well, thank you, I love that question. It’s one that that I always ask as well. And I would just say that, well, I’d like to say I really appreciate the work that you’ve been doing. And the way that that you’ve been carrying on dad’s legacy. And I can feel the inspiration behind that. And I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity now to, to talk with you and and to also have have spoken with Natalie, your sister on the biology podcast and your deep thinkers. And it’s not just the usual podcast, it’s not all about doing it’s, it’s about being and I would encourage everybody to listen and, and to read whatever you guys have to offer, because there just aren’t enough opportunities to engage in that kind of, of deep thought. And so I very much appreciate that. You’re, that you’re creating that. And I am very interested in learning more about what you do. I’ll have to interview you for my podcast I’m

Jacob Wagner 49:30
looking forward to. Absolutely, yeah, and I think that our work has a really nice plate together as well, that you and I both talked about ideal clients about the same amount, but we also really like right hand, the left hand they go together and they’re huge complements to each other. And I really like the way in the eye that you bring the marketing as well as so you know some of the thoughts that you share with your clients and some of the depth that you go to I try to do a lot of that. But then there’s also a lot of mechanic work. Now where it’s setting up, you know, a new website or an email marketing, a traffic campaign, what are these analytics, dashboards, all Crucial Conversations. But we also really need to have these conversations too. So I really appreciate everything that I learned from you through this process. And through these conversations.

Jody Jacobson 50:22
Well, thank you so much, it’s been an absolute pleasure, really appreciate it. And I appreciate you. Thanks. So

Jacob Wagner 50:29
thanks, and I need to write back to. And with that, folks, I appreciate you a lot as well, even if we’ve never met, man, if we have even more so and we’ve hugged and been able to meet it at the retreat or next gen or any of those things, I appreciate all of all of everything that you guys have shared with me. And it also feel free to write into us here. And everything that God has mentioned is going to be available through the podcast, make sure to email her and we will also have that on the blog post for this podcast. And you’ll be able to get to there from the show notes as well don’t want to leave behind. I want to make sure that you get access to this incredible material. And with that, folks, make sure to listen in next time. And thank you very much for listening to this episode of digital marketing for us. Take care and I’ll see you again soon.

Tasha

About the Author

Tasha

I help manage our content and other projects to take a load off of Jake’s plate. My design eye comes into play in quality assurance checks, high-level planning meetings, and sometimes in quick or specific design projects.

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