Anyone working in private client tax or financial advice will tell you that, from a client’s point of view, this is about much more than money.
Discussing the sale of businesses that people have spent their life building, talking about leaving money to future generations or negotiating how companies might be divided following the breakdown of a personal or business relationship all have, deep at their heart, a strong emotional element. You can feel it in conversations – an undertow of nervousness or even sadness, and a deep feeling of relief when these matters are settled or a sense of unease or disorientation that a new chapter in their life is beginning. All of this is completely understandable. Surely, it’s human nature to avoid dwelling on your own demise or what will become of your property long after you’re gone.
This is where the professional experience and expertise of the adviser come into play. Managing the personal elements of these deals needs a high level of emotional intelligence – even the most in-depth knowledge of tax affairs is only part of our job. The evidence of this? Long-lasting relationships with our clients, often lasting many generations, based on a full understanding of their unique needs.
In a professional setting, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. Reading those around you, empathising, steering gently and reassuring those involved that their feelings and decisions are valid are all part of our day-to-day work.
It is not uncommon for our role to extend beyond tax adviser to that of ‘confidante’ to many of our clients so, for us emotional intelligence is something we take pride in and consider part of our unique offering.