“Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.”
This quote by novelist Ken Lui is both humorous and discomforting. When we really think about the different and often nuanced perspectives people can have about well, everything, it does seem like a miracle whenever we reach a consensus on where to eat, let alone the big-ticket issues like raising children and where to live. Communication has also changed drastically over the past few decades. Things were complicated enough when the primary means of conversing was face-to-face or over the phone, but at least we were able to read non-verbal cues and intonations in each other’s voices. Now, we have to be very strategic about choosing the right words (or at least soften them with an emoji) to convey the right message and tone via text, email, and social media. The consequences of not doing so can be major misunderstandings, arguments, and, on a larger scale, offending our client base. And while yes, miracles are great, we certainly shouldn’t have to rely on them when we’re talking about the management of our estate. The good news is that while technology has made communication more challenging, there are also digital tools, such as all-in-one solutions, that can assist with improving your estate communications.
Any time we are involved in a collaborative effort, the ability to envision the end goal and the steps it will take to get there is key to success. When each person is clear about the mission and their role in it, their personal investment and motivation to bring that goal to fruition increases. Ambiguous communication has the opposite effect. One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing; people feel undervalued and thus have less accountability. It doesn’t matter if you are running a business or assembling a team for your home renovation – all-in-one platforms can be integral to shifting the culture with improving your estate communications. Spreadsheets and documents with task breakdowns and timelines can be uploaded to the platform and shared so they’re always at everyone’s fingertips; more importantly, you can also use the messaging feature as a hub for transparent, inclusive conversations, rather than jumping between various email and text threads.
These tools can be even more beneficial when it comes to the management and transfer of wealth. One of the greatest challenges in families today is communicating about money – how much there is, the best way to grow it, and who is going to get it when the older generations pass on. For those who have always shied away from speaking about money in the past it’s exponentially harder, for when they finally have the conversation they find their heirs lack the critical knowledge and skills to take the reins. Moreover, millennials and Zoomers have no interest in lengthy in-person or over-the-phone meetings with anyone, including financial advisors. All-in-one solutions make it easy to begin educating them on your investments, how they are performing, and your rationale for making them. As in the case with your team at work, you can upload and share documents and invite feedback through the messaging app, which helps them make the connection between the wealth you have built and the family legacy moving forward. Another wordsmith, playwright George Bernard Shaw, said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” While there is no substitute for good interpersonal skills, EstateSpace helps you take the guesswork out of your interactions through the sharing of data – and your opinions about it ‒ in one safe space.