In one of our recent posts, “You Need a Therapist,” Matt Hall described how we first connected with financial therapist Marilyn Wechter, MSW, and how much we’ve enjoyed collaborating with her ever since. This month, we thought it would be fun to share some of the ways we’ve been personally inspired by Marilyn. How have we used what we’ve learned from her – here in the office and at home? Read on to find out.
Rick Hill – One key takeaway from Marilyn has been how to share your financial values with your family, especially your children. How you spend your money communicates your values. Also, you can start talking to your children about money when they are very young; just tailor the conversation accordingly. Family meetings are important as well, although any communication is usually better than none. Marilyn once told me she’d conducted more than 1,000 family meetings and not one of them was a failure.
John Reagan – Marilyn has a way of putting things in perspective. For example, she’s helped me better balance my time and energy among the people and projects that are most important to me at work and home. “Live a little” are often good words to live by.
Nell Schiffer – Marilyn taught me that anxiety is contagious, which has been a simple but inspiring idea for me. We know that anxiety feels bad, but knowing that doesn’t always motivate us to let go of it. Realizing that our own anxiety can infect others is a powerful force for change, plus it reduces your own stress.
Henry Bragg – When the unexpected occurs – whether it’s death, divorce or Hurricane Harvey – being human is the most important thing you can do for others. Be sincere. Let people know you care, that you empathize with their concerns, and that you’re there to help, to the extent you’re able. Then just be yourself. Words of wisdom from Marilyn.
Buddy Reisinger – The most important thing I’ve learned from Marilyn is how to listen to others at a level I didn’t know I could. It’s still a work in progress, especially at home! But deeper listening has helped me better appreciate where others are coming from, why they feel the way they do, how they got where they are today, and where they’d like to go next. I’ve gotten better at stopping myself from interjecting before the other person has finished their thoughts.
Matt Hall – We all hold a mirror up to others. Am I intentional about what I am reflecting back? That’s my favorite lesson from Marilyn. She uses the example of a child learning to walk. If I hold out encouraging arms, a toddler will often smile and keep walking. If I project fear or doubt, most will sit down. The analogy holds true in our adult relationships too. I always try to remember that as I spend time with the important people in my life.