Proactive or Reactive Behaviours
In working with clients, cash flow coaches will experience a range of personality types and personas. Recognising the behavioural drivers of your clients can be integral in assisting them with their cash flow coaching journey and working with them to approach the changes to habits that will reward and benefit them.
As a starting point, it is helpful to consider and note whether you recognise your client as proactive or reactive.
It’s important to clarify that it is rare that anyone is totally proactive or completely reactive by nature. An individual’s approach will vary according to circumstances and context. For example, a client may be very proactive in searching for better deals on their electricity bill but be swayed by their friends who want to try out the new expensive restaurant down the road.
Proactive clients understand that their decisions and actions have a direct impact on their lives. They accept responsibility, take the initiative and are empowered to make positive changes to themselves and their environment.
Their mindsets are mirrored by their language. You can pick up on a client’s proactive nature when you hear words and phrases like: -
Life is what you make of it
You get out what you put in
Let’s do this
When can I start?
I’ve already worked out …
Clients with a proactive approach see themselves as the driver of change. And, they see the cash flow coach’s role as one of support and as a sounding board. They will bring options and solutions to the table and be active implementers of new cash flow management techniques.
Unfortunately, reactive clients have allowed external factors to control them. They sit back and wait for a transformation to be thrust upon them or for others to take the first steps and initiate change. They are good at the ‘blame game’ – instead of taking responsibility they point the finger of fault at outside forces (things like the economy, the government, the banks, interest rates, the cost of living, their upbringing etc.). Words and phrases you will hear from clients with a reactive mindset include: -
It makes me so angry
You can’t trust the banks
I can’t see what I can do about it
I’m might just wait and see
What can I do?
The good news is that all clients have one thing in common – they have a choice. Every individual gets to decide how to respond to the circumstances, situations, events and the challenges they are faced with, as part of life. The role of a cash flow coach is to help move the balance of their client’s behaviour towards the proactive, recognising the positive impact it can have on their client’s lives.
Circles of Concern and Influence
In his seminal book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey reflects on proactive and reactive behaviours and the way to move to a more proactive state. His model of Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence looks at promoting this shift.
For cash flow clients, the circle of concern includes everything that they care about and spend energy and time worrying about in relation to their present and future financial well-being. There are areas, within a cash flow client’s circle of concern, that they have no control over – things like the weather and its impact on fruit and vegetable prices, government policy and changes to tax rates, terrorism and a drop in the share market, etc.
On the other hand, the circle of influence, which sits inside the circle of concern, holds the things that cash flow clients can control. Areas like personal expenditure, future earning capacity, cost savings, etc. which they can address, act upon and improve.
Your client’s state of mind; which side of the proactive/reactive fence they sit, will reflect the part of the circle they spend most of their time in.
Cash flow clients with a proactive mindset, focus their time and energies in the Circle of Influence. They think about and focus on improving areas that are within their power or control. Because of this, their circle of influence starts to grow. Driven by their positivity and proactive approach, their successes drive further growth of their circle of influence – they find more things that they can influence and take control of. Clients who have really grown their circle of influence become inspirational to others and those around them.
Conversely, clients with a reactive perspective, have a negative starting point for their cash flow coaching journey. Because they are focussing on the areas they have no control over, they spend much of their emotional energy agonising over what could go wrong and ‘what if I can’t do it’. The longer they spend doing this, the longer they are sitting inside the circle of concern, the more negative things seem, and the bigger the circle of concern becomes. And, when the circle of concern gets bigger, the circle of influence recedes.
One of the keys to assisting reactive cash flow clients in moving from the circle of concern to the proactively based circle of influence is to continually remind them to focus on their values, purpose, vision and goals. These are the bases for positive actions and taking control of their own destiny. From this point, cash flow coaches can work with their clients to determine the actions that they can immediately implement that will move them towards these objectives.
Another thing that cash flow coaches realise is that things are not always smooth sailing. Difficult events and situations will arise, and even those clients with a proactive mindset can be effected and gravitate towards the circle of concern. Again, in recognising shifts towards the negative, cash flow coaches can refocus their client’s mindsets and get them working within the circle of influence. After all, the truism is that all clients have the choice to decide how they react and respond to their situation.
elevateB provides the training program as well as support and ongoing development for certified cash flow coaches. Individuals who choose to work with a certified cash flow coach are better placed to achieve financial independence and security. If you would like to make a difference and help everyday Australians be more financially prudent and savvy, consider becoming a cash flow coach today. Click here.