ORLANDO -- Scott Mann was one of a U.S. Army Special Forces Unit, popularly known as the Green Berets, who were helping defend an Afghan village against the Taliban when they found themselves surrounded by the enemy.
In the midst of the fighting, Mann noticed a lone farmer standing on his roof, determined to defend his own home.
Mann kept this image of the lone farmer as he taught lessons he learned from 18 years serving as a Green Beret in places from Ecuador to Afghanistan. He gave a lesson in Rooftop Leadership at today's NAIFA Performance + Purpose conference.
Advisors are fighting their own battles with the rapid pace of change, disengagement among their team members, and a churn of conflict keeping their message from reaching their prospects and clients, Mann said.
Humans are "meaning, seeking, emotional, social creatures," he said, but too often, advisors take the wrong approach to relate to those they serve. Advisors spend a great deal of time being reactionary and transactional, with a go it alone mentality, instead of finding ways to relate to people on a deeper level.
'Meet People Where They Are'
Mann advised the audience to pay attention to the emotional temperature of the room and get people ready to listen before proceeding into their message. "Meet people where they are instead of where you want them to be."
He recommended using what he called narrative competence in getting engaged and connected with others. The components of narrative competence are storytelling, active listening and being present.
Advisors should make relationship building "a team sport in their practice," Mann said.
People are hungry for impact and purpose in their lives, he said, and they are seeking that from their leaders as well.
"People are hungry for an authentic leader who will get up and say, 'This is what I'm trying to build and will you help me build it '"
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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