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The Awkward Squad

15 March 2024

FINANCIAL PLANNERS – Which profession is the hardest to convert to a proper Financial Planning Service? Teachers, Doctors or Engineers?

This was a question I asked on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, as experience tells me that some professionals are just ‘hard-wired’ a certain way.

This makes them great at their jobs, but it is frustratingly difficult to get into a human-centered, Financial Planning mindset.

My personal ‘Awkward Squad’ consists of Engineers, Doctors and Teachers.

Engineers are technical people. Everything in their professional life demands a technical answer. It’s black or white – either it works, or it doesn’t.

There is no room for grey, which is good. That’s why your office building hasn’t fallen down.

But when it comes to talking about life and affairs of the heart and mind, they struggle to work in the grey areas. In their world it doesn’t matter how you feel about the bridge. It matters that it stands up.

Doctors tend to live in a bit of a bubble. They are the kings and queens of their castle, dispensing advice and instruction without challenge supported by their army of willing helpers.

That’s not the kind of mindset that takes easily to the concept that someone else might know a better way to do something! Especially someone who isn’t more qualified than them.

Teachers suffer from the same – they spend their life giving answers out rather than accepting new information in and can often have a very fixed view of the world.

After all, World War 2 and Shakespeare haven’t changed much since they qualified as teachers.

That’s why being challenged with a different perspective than they had in their minds can be very jarring to them, especially when it’s not coming from a five-year-old.

In fact, I’ve noticed several occasions where a teacher has actually become quite angry when presented with an alternative view on a subject, even when that view is coming from someone eminently more qualified than them in that area.

So, how do we deal with the ‘Awkward Squad’.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. You’re just going to have to work harder than normal – but isn’t that what makes Financial Planning fun?

One thing that can make it a little easier is by focusing on their partner. When one person in a relationship is technically minded, there’s a better than evens chance that their partner is more of a holistic character who will buy into your Financial Planning message much easier.

In fact, they probably spend their life being the holistic ‘foil’ to their partner’s technical brain.

And if you want to know which profession was voted the most awkward of the ‘Awkward Squad’ members, it was…


There you go, you learn something every day.

Or maybe not. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners


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