What happens when you find that the advisor you chose is the wrong one for you?
If you discover that the professional you hired is not up to the mark you expected, don’t delay in redirecting your efforts. This is your future – you should feel confident and comfortable that it is being managed well and that the relationship is positive and supportive as you move through the process.
Here are signs you might be considering replacing your current advisor:
You feel that you are being treated like “one size fits all”. If you feel that each of your questions has a quick template answer or form, it could send a signal that your advisor is either not listening to you properly or doesn’t know how to adjust to your situation. In any case, this is not acceptable.
You may be getting signs that your advisor is not as experienced as you thought. If, in your conversations and exchanges with your advisor, you notice that he or she often has to meet with coworkers before they can answer questions or don’t know where to find the information you need to manage your account or status or how to achieve, it can certainly undermine self-confidence.
You feel like your vision and goals for your future have been discounted. Do you feel that your advisor is not considering these or is dismissing them in your conversations and transactions? If you’re getting signs that your advisor isn’t putting your interests first, it’s time to make a change.
You are receiving communication from your advisor only when you are billed. This is a hot button for me personally. As a business owner who recognizes the importance of relationships, I am repeatedly amazed at the number of professionals who remember the importance of me and my business when it comes time to bill for services.
You don’t feel comfortable with your advisor. A mentor should be part of your permanent, innermost circle, and you should enjoy a comfortable and warm energy in the relationship. If you think about meeting yourself, or you think the experience is like taking a dose of castor oil for your own good, it’s time for a change.
Before searching for someone new, please consider the following:
Have you shared with your current advisor how you feel? You may find that you have misunderstood something in the process or an important communication. You have invested time and energy in this regard, as has your advisor. He may have questions of his own about you or how he works with you. Take the time to explore this together and see if you can address your concerns before taking any action. As the old saying goes, “Wherever you go, you take yourself.” This means that if confusion is on your end, you will find the same confusion with your next advisor.
If this conversation doesn’t clear things up, researching a new advisor involves a simple referral from someone you know. Here are some tips for you, should you find yourself in such a situation:
Don’t make any assumptions. This is not the time to make assumptions (nor is any other time, really. Top of their game. I’ve even seen people turn to mentors because they support high-profile people in the field. Do it yourself to the professional) Doesn’t validate – Leaders make mistakes every day.
Be clear on what you want. You’ll want to interview candidates with specific questions that tell you they’re ready to serve you well. To do this, make sure you are clear about your vision and goals, and ask them how they would treat it. Ask them about their work philosophy and their approach to see if it matches your way of doing things. Don’t be afraid to back down if you’re unclear about the explanation, or you prefer to do things a little differently, as long as it fits within the best guidelines of what your advisor can do for you.
Before you take the leap, communicate. Before transitioning to a new mentor, consider doing your advisor and yourself a huge favor: Have an important conversation to share why you’ve decided to work with someone else. This is inconvenient for many people, and some prefer to reach out to their newly selected advisor for any relevant and appropriate requests on their part, such as those required for account transfers or other relevant information. But if you choose to do so, you’ll be doing this advisor a favor (and probably learning something yourself). It is helpful to get feedback so that we can improve the way we serve others.
Provide valuable input. Think about what you would like to know if someone you work with decides to take their business elsewhere. What would be valuable input for you? How would you like to receive it?
In this important conversation, it’s helpful to share the things you appreciated, what isn’t working for you and why, and the decisions you’ve made to transition. Be careful not to blame or personalize things, but focus only on sharing your personal experience. This is a kinder way out and will support a sense of goodwill between you.
Patti Cotton works with business owners, executives and their companies to elevate and support leadership at all levels. Contact us at [email protected]