In most aspects of our lives, when we need to make a decision we often turn to trusted friends and family. They listen as we sort through the details, they share their experiences and wisdom, and together we look for outcomes that are in alignment with our goals and values. Research indicates that women in particular rely on these conversations to build the knowledge and understanding they need to have make decisions confidently. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to have these important conversations about money and financial decisions with our usual confidants.
When we starting hosting conversation circles 4 years ago, we wanted to create opportunities for women to have authentic conversations about the important aspects of personal finance beyond the numbers. These conversations foster a deeper knowledge and understanding which enables our clients to align their financial decisions with their values. When our money and values are in alignment, we are happier, more conscious of, and more engaged with our own financial management. What we’ve seen is that this not only leads to a more robust portfolio, but better financial outcomes overall.
Our conversation circles are structured and facilitated to provide time for personal reflection and interpersonal connection, and include content and exercises that lead to concrete action steps. What do we talk about? Here are some topics we’ve explored:
- Giving with Gladness (re-considering our giving to loved ones and organizations)
- Fiscal Unequals: Finding Common Group with Friends and Family
- Navigating Difficult Money Conversations with Loved Ones
- What’s Your Worth: the Art of Advocating for Ourselves
- Who’s in Charge: Your Head of Your Heart?
- Apron Strings: Cut, Tied or Tangled? Providing Financial Support to Adult Loved Ones
But what actually happens at a conversation circle?
Imagine a group of 12-15 women sitting together and talking about money and everything that goes with it – from our successes and fears to stories, behaviors and legacies we’ve adopted over the years. Each woman participates based on her own level of comfort and desire, and some choose to sit and listen. We begin by discussing the principles, practices and agreements that determine how the circle functions. These tenets provide the framework that allows each woman to feel safe sharing her experience: the circle is conscientiously set up to be a judgment free space.
The conversation and the structure of the session are guided by a specific topic. You can expect specific exercises and prompting questions so that each woman, introvert and extrovert alike, may find an entry point if she wishes. During the 2-hour circle, the activity varies and we may break into pairs, do a writing exercise, and also have time to share as a whole group. Throughout, we provide background information on the topic and food for thought. We open and close the circle with a relevant poem.
Please let us know if you would like to join us! We invite clients, colleagues, friends and all kindred spirits – and there is no charge to attend.