Practical analysis for investment professionals
21 December 2012

The “Softer” Side of Finance: My Top Articles from 2012

The year has drawn to a close, and the new year is ringing in (perhaps a great relief to those who were following the dire end-of-world predictions to the contrary). What a great time to revisit some of my favorite articles from the past year for you to enjoy for the first time — or all over again:

  • Listening skills are a critical component to building successful relationships and are a top employee-development priority expressed frequently in our interactions with recruiting and training managers. Keeping your ears open and your mouth shut is a good start, but it’s not the whole story. In “Listen Up: Emotional Intelligence is Critical for Success,” Julia VanDeren, our Career Services Representative, and I consider how developing a good understanding of behavioral style (your own and that of others) can improve your communication skills.
  • Many investment professionals focus more effort on building assets under management (AUM) than actually building relationships with their clients. Building trust with clients is an important element to ultimately retaining AUM, and the aftermath of the global financial crisis has demonstrated how critical this soft skill is. If you’re looking for some practical advice, check out “Five Key Strategies for Building Trust with Your Clients.”
  • I think most professionals in the industry have by now become convinced that, when paired with solid technical skills, “soft” skills can give you a critical edge and differentiate you throughout your career. If you still needconvincing that investing in personal development does indeed pay dividends, “Resources to Support Your ‘Soft’ Skills Development” is a recommended read.
  • What’s your definition of influence? In “Soft Skills for Finance: The Power of Influence,” I consider how organizational structure affects techniques for influencing and offer useful resources to build your skills. Another good read to better understand the evolution in management theory and practice is “Lessons In Leadership: The Case for Servant Leadership in Finance.”

I hope 2013 brings you many opportunities to learn and enhance your personal development!

For more news and trends, visit the Leadership, Management, and Communication Skills Community of Practice.


Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.

About the Author(s)
Heather Packard

Heather Packard is the director of product development at CFA Institute and serves as the subject matter expert in leadership, management, and communication skills (LMCS). Previously, she was the managing partner at Trilogy Corporation of Virginia, where she was responsible for developing and cultivating a regional territory for telecommunications and network integration sales. Packard also served as the coordinator of collections for the Science and Engineering Libraries at the University of Virginia. She holds an BA in English and Spanish Literature from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an MA in Spanish Literature from the University of Virginia. Topical Expertise: Leadership, Management, and Communication Skills

1 thought on “The “Softer” Side of Finance: My Top Articles from 2012”

  1. This article really brought out the most important requirements needed as an Investment Professionals, as per the way of dealing with your clients on their Investment portfolios; and as well as the ability to pay more attention to their needs. By listening to them very-well and also doing what’s right for them will definitely, let you have their trust.

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