AN EXPERT was giving a series of free seminars on personal finance . Many people were scheduled to attend, but only a few showed up.

AN EXPERT was giving a series of free seminars on personal finance . Many people were scheduled to attend, but only a few showed up.

The expert wondered why attendance was so low.

He thought about the behaviour and attitude of some of the people who had showed up for the first two seminars. At the first seminar he had noticed that several of the married couples seemed a bit uncomfortable about discussing financial matters with each other.

Much of the seminar involved recognising and evaluating their current financial situation and setting financial goals and ways to measure progress. But it was hard getting the couples to discuss financial matters between themselves. They were willing to listen to a lecture, but hesitant to discuss the topic between themselves.

The expert speculated on the idea that maybe the topic of finances was taboo for the husband and-or wife. Maybe they grew up in homes that did not discuss finances publicly.

He knew that many people were hesitant to discuss finances for fear of revealing something about themselves or were embarrassed about their situation .

He explained that these should not be of concern because we have all made bad and even disastrous financial decisions.

Being the expert, he asked them about their work.

He asked how they were doing in their jobs, what they were currently working on, what the future of their companies looked like and what they saw as their future in the company.

The responses were interesting. Some people were really excited about their situation, but others could not care less as long as there was a pay cheque.

The expert had positive discussions with those who showed enthusiasm and was brief with those who were nonplussed .

A fun question that got people talking about money was: "What would be your ideal job if you had all the money you needed to live on and didn't depend on your salary?"

He could tell who the people were who had thought about this and those who had never considered it. Those who had a ready answer revealed their lifelong dreams, ambitions and goals.

He also asked the people what they would do if they were suddenly laid off work. Could they find a job in the same field for the same money? Would they have to move to look for a job? Would they have to change careers? Could they survive financially?

A method he used in his seminars was to ask couples questions about their financial dreams and goals. What they would do if they had all the money they needed. What their lives would be like. What kind of things they would do. Where they would go. How they would fill their days. What causes they would like to support.

These types of questions were less threatening than: "How can you reduce your expenses" and "What should you cut out or cut down on to save money?"

In this way the expert w as able to get the couples to open up to each other and to other participants.

Next,he got the couples to discuss ways of organising and planing their finances to achieve their dreams.

He knew that if they had a goal they would be more inclined to talk about ways to achieve it rather than boring and confrontational topics such as budgeting and curbing spending. - simplejoe.com