Ep 168: Bridging Psychological Safety and Innovation with Michael Bungay Stanier

In this episode of Bridging the Gap, Matt Reiner and leadership coach Michael Bungay Stanier dive into the importance of curiosity and psychological safety within financial advising. Michael emphasizes the need for advisors to stay curious by asking open-ended questions like “And what else?” to better understand their clients’ needs. This approach helps foster stronger client relationships and encourages deeper, more meaningful conversations.

Michael also discusses the critical role of psychological safety in creating an environment where advisors feel secure to express ideas and take risks. By effectively managing tribe expectations, rank, and autonomy, firms can cultivate a culture of creativity and innovation. This safety is essential for driving positive change and enhancing client interactions within the financial industry.

The episode highlights practical tools for simplifying decision-making, such as using pre-written messages for saying no, which can significantly reduce cognitive load. Michael illustrates how these strategies not only improve individual decision-making but also support broader organizational behavior changes. By focusing on both emotional and structural aspects, advisors can implement lasting change and continuously evolve to stay relevant in their field.

Timestamps From This Episode
[12:39] Innovate, prototype, test, and make market-ready. Focus on solving real pain points.
[16:05] The brain’s tribe thinking revolves around safety, expectation, rank, and autonomy. It assesses whether you are with the tribe or against it, whether you know what’s going to happen or not, how important you feel compared to others, and whether you have a say in the decisions being made.
[23:19] Learning curiosity through powerful coaching questions and habits.
[35:39] Embracing change means saying no to the old versions of yourself and people’s expectations. It requires actively engaging in the process and being committed to the new version of yourself.
[39:15] Changing behavior through organizational and personal restructuring.

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Bridging the Gap is a financial podcast hosted by CEO Matt Reiner focused on bringing together leaders from the finance and the technology industries to focus on innovating the financial services industry.