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Ask a Vexxpert Podcast Episode 1: Rob Tétrault

5 min. readbyVexxit StaffonNovember 20, 2020
Ask a Vexxpert brings you into the life and expertise of Canada’s leading professionals. Each episode gives you insight into the lessons we learn from their illustrious careers. This biweekly series helps business owners, managers, and professionals thrive in the world of modern work.

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Rob Tétrault is an award-winning Portfolio Manager who has appeared in Wealth Professional’s Top 10 Wealth Advisors in Canada 3 times in the last 4 years. He joins us on this week’s episode of Ask a Vexxpert, Vexxit’s biweekly podcast bringing you into the life and expertise of Canada’s leading professionals.

Rob identified the art of listening as one of the most critical life skills on the road to his success in wealth management. In his pursuit to actively grow this trait, he’s found active and empathetic listening to be the key factor.

Rob took us back to his early days as the gregarious, class clown in high school. With a love of entertaining, the spotlight was a place he felt comfortable. As he moved through education and into the world of work, he discovered a need to focus on the other side of the conversation.

“When I came into this business I realized through feedback from clients, peers, friends, that I was weak in this area and needed to be stronger.”As he became more conscious of his own ratio of speaking to listening, he noticed what resonated with him, and on the flip side, what upset him as a client. He took note of things he would never do in a client relationship.

In this episode, Rob walks us through active listening, empathetic listening, and his own best practices.  Here are few top takeaways:

  • Start with a self-assessment. Observe yourself in conversations in all facets of your life to observe your listening to speaking ratio.

  • Ask for feedback. Ask someone you trust who is going to give a fair and honest assessment.

  • Don’t be afraid of ‘dead air’. When you’re asking a question and you’re waiting, you don’t have to immediately jump in. Give people time to think.

  • Go beyond listening to the most active speaker. Engage all of the people in the discussion so you can listen to all perspectives (depending on the size of your group)

  • Not interrupting. A basic, but a big one.

  • Active listening isn’t just listening. Its detailed note taking. In some cases, it can be helpful to repeat what the client has said back to them starting with, “here’s what I interpreted you saying” to ensure you’ve captured their perspective.

  • Always prep before your meetings. Have your points prepared before your conversation with a client so you can truly focus on listening when you meet.

  • The importance of eye contact. Rob shares his tips to maintain eye contact without making it feel like a face off.

Rob's Influences

Rob cites Dale Carnegie, Harvard Business Review and TED talks as influences for his shift to active and empathetic listening.

Here are a few to explore:

Dale Carnegie Course: Listening Skills for Boosting Communication

Dale Carnegie & Associates: Listen! The Art of Effective Communication

Harvard Business Review: What great listeners actually do

Harvard Business Review: Listening is an overlooked leadership tool

TEDx San Diego: The power of listening by William Ury

Check out Rob’s recommended read

Active Listening 101: How to Turn Down Your Volume to Turn Up Your Communication Skills.

Connect with Rob on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and at robtetrault.com.

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