My Lesson from a Political Discussion

Beverly FlaxingtonBeverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Readers,

I have the honor of responding to your inquiries each and every week in this column. I am also fortunate to work as a coach and mentor to hundreds of advisors each year. I hope my wisdom and ideas are helpful.

I, too, run a business and need to make decisions every day on the best ways to approach people and to communicate. This week I learned a valuable lesson on delegation and communicating in a polarized political environment, and on being respectful of how people might interpret something. I thought I’d share my own experiences, as I am always learning and hopefully growing, too. While it’s painful to make mistakes, I accept them because they teach me things I might not have yet learned, or might have forgotten.

I’ll reveal something from my own business this week that you might find helpful as you navigate similar communication issues.


I send communication tips via email to people who have run behavioral profiles (called “DISC”) from my firm. These are communication style prompts that teach people how to “read” others. I buy these clues from an outside vendor and I have a team member who writes little paragraphs and sends them out under my signature. I believe firmly in the need to delegate in a small firm, so I rely on people around me for many things.

This week the clues used a picture of the sitting president in order to depict a dominant type personality. I write about the importance of staying away from political discussions in today’s polarized environment, and this week I was reminded of what sage advice that is when I started receiving emails from clients saying how offended they were by being “compared” to the sitting president.