FPA Retreat: The Art of Storytelling
Last week, five members of Yeske Buie’s Financial Planning Team attended and presented at the Financial Planning Association’s annual retreat. The theme of this year’s retreat was built around Advancing the Art and Science of Financial Planning through Storytelling. Yeske Buie shared stories focused on three different areas of expertise: Dave presented “How to Read and Apply Research-Based Writing”, Elissa and Yusuf presented on “The Financial Planning Resident Program”, and Dave, Lauren Stansell, and Jen lead the Peer-to-Peer session titled “What We Do When We Do Financial Planning”.
While Elissa and Dave attend the retreat nearly every year, this was Yusuf’s second time at the retreat and the first time for Lauren, and Jen. As Jen reflected on her experience as a presenter, she said, “Presenting at FPA retreat was unlike anything I could’ve imagined. As someone who once forgot her name when handed a microphone, I was incredibly nervous to be standing in front of a packed room of intelligent financial planners. However, I was comforted and very thankful to have the support of Dave and Lauren. Once the presentation got rolling, the nerves disappeared and the excitement kept building.”
Lauren Grove shared Jen’s sentiments of nervousness for the presentation, stating, “While it may have been a lot of pressure to stand up in front of (and with) some of the pioneers of this profession, I was honored to share insight into how we support our Clients during retirement at Yeske Buie.” Lauren also shared her thoughts regarding Yeske Buie’s continued support of the Financial Planning Association and young planners; “Yeske Buie’s involvement with the Financial Planning Association and support of our planners’ attendance at many FPA events is vital to our advancement. We are able to network with those in the profession, learn from others and from the education sessions, and share our expertise. I am so thankful for the opportunity.”
Further emphasizing the support of growth for young planners and the profession, Yusuf described his experience as such: “Being a presenter at this year’s retreat was one of the highlights of my career to this point. Presenting on a topic that is a relatively new idea in our profession to your peers is a fulfilling experience, and we received great feedback. Sharing our experience will help other firms install programs like ours more efficiently and effectively, and it feels good to know that we’re contributing to the advancement of the profession in such a meaningful way.”
In addition to speaking, our team members attended many other intriguing sessions, learning from the stories shared by an array of well-respected financial planners. Lauren, Jen and Yusuf each identified their favorite session of the retreat and shared a summary of their insights and learning below.
“Transform Your Habits: The Science of How to Stick to Good Ones and Break Bad Ones” with James Clear
Lauren’s favorite session was one on transforming habits with James Clear. Not only was James a very engaging and entertaining presenter; the material and learning he provided was phenomenal. The biggest takeaway was that changing or building a habit can seem daunting and overwhelming if you try to do it all at once. But making very tiny changes one at a time can cause exponential change and growth over time. For example, a 1% improvement made five days a week for one year could lead to you being 10 times better at the end of that year! Another interesting tip provided by James was the idea of a keystone habit – “a behavior or routine that naturally pulls the rest of your life in order”. For James, it’s weightlifting; on days when he weightlifts, he is much more likely to make healthy food choices and go to bed early. Lauren thinks one of her keystone habits is working out in the morning – it helps her feel energized for the day and provides her with a clear mind and motivation to get things done! What is one of your keystone habits?
“The Conversation: The Altogether Necessary, Difficult, Surprising, Empowering and Profitable Conversation You MUST Have with Yourself In Order to Truly Thrive!” with Fred Mandell, PhD. EdM
“It is hard to pick a ‘favorite’ session because there were so many wonderful options and experiences”, says Jen. Having to pick just one, Jen selected the session titled “The Conversation” presented by Fred Mandell. During this three hour session, the audience was challenged with communicating their life’s Purpose through a variety of mediums: first in words, then through an object that could be cut out of cardboard paper, and lastly through their motions. Not surprisingly, in the room full of exquisite financial planners, there was a lot of love, caring and empathy for others. Lastly the group reflected on 6+ chapters of their lives, and how the Purpose everyone identified has been incorporated and molded through the journey of life. Most notably, the group shared these feelings, emotions, and reflections with other individuals sitting at the table – some of which were complete strangers! Jen felt that it was truly a beautiful experience.
“Story-Based Marketing: The Art of Being Human – Storytelling, Authenticity and Trust” with Shelley A. Lee
Yusuf and the other Yeske Buie team members at the retreat were present for Shelley’s presentation, which focused on sharing stories authentically. Shelley is the Founder and Creative Director of Ashworth-Lee Communications, a marketing firm near Atlanta, GA.
The highlight of the presentation, for Yusuf, was when Shelley challenged the audience to write a six-word memoir. The exercise is meant to force you to tell the most important parts of your story in such a way that the listener understands it while still wanting to hear more. Here are some of the most memorable ones that were shared:
“Met my wife; found my life.”
“Your life, inspired or not. Choose.”
“Dream life. Believe dreams. Live dreams.”
Shelley suggested using this exercise in our work with Clients, noting that these short stories can lead to incredibly valuable sharing and deepen connection. What would your life’s story be in six words?