Watch Those Ums and Ahs

Beverly 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 Bev,

Our advisors are good at what they do, but a couple of our best performers are terrible communicators. They consistently pause when delivering information. One of them, who is an older gentleman, will sometimes look as though he is lost in his thoughts. The other one, a younger woman, ends every single sentence with “right?” She had a meeting with a client where I sat in as the investment expert. I counted and she used the term “right” 19 times during a one-hour meeting where she wasn’t even talking most of the time.

Is this the norm? Have good conversational skills been abandoned? Is there a polite way for me to bring this up?