Professional Paraplanner recently hosted a Team Leader seminar in London at the Fidelity International offices, and I was very lucky to be invited along.

The day was jampacked with lot of perceptive presentations mixed with smaller, interactive workshop sessions. As the Paraplanning Manager at The Verve Group, it’s very easy to find yourself busy with the running of the team whilst balancing caseloads on the sides, so – attending a physical event is a welcome refresher and often, not prioritised enough. It served as a fantastic reminder of the constant challenges we all face withinthe industry, whilst also gaining some interesting insights into what is currently working well for different firms and teams.

The theme of the day was centred around the importance of time, and more specifically – dedicated time with your team. We’ve all fallen victim to assuming people are far too busy with the day job, but incorporating regular personal interaction should not be underestimated when promoting recognition, value/self-worth, and morale.

The need to set clear boundaries is evident when managing a team, ensuring expectations are set at every stage helps understand the type of person you’re supervising. On this topic, there are some fantastic resources on the market now – try 16personalities! We all know there will never be two people who are the same so, there is a lot of value in taking the time to appreciate and truly understand what works in terms of management style, learning, motivation, and communication methods for each person. A great example of this would be to take the time to find out what their home life is like, as this allows you to have a deeper understanding of their performance at work.

We were also joined by a mental health expert in one of the sessions and explored the power of language. More deeply about how words and questions can be interpreted in a multitude of ways and the direct impact this type of exchange could have on someone’s mindset. Often, the same can be said for yourself – if something doesn’t come naturally, try shifting your mindset to understand another point of view.

Here are my 5 key takeaways from the event:

  • The need for communication: in both instances positively and negatively. Make sure to give out plenty of praise too, or even just give out helpful feedback to continueencouraging development for the individual. Try to practice active listening within teams or just individuals to try and build a trusted and positive working environment with meaningful relationships.
  • Clear aims: start by setting out clear and achievable objectives and goals. Every person within your team should be able to voice what the overall department goal is and understand how their role plays a part in achieving it.
  • Prepare yourself: Take some time to get yourself ready and prepared for meetings. Have a clear goal on what you want to achieve within each conversation whilst having evidence ready to be used if conversations need backing up. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail…”
  • Reflection is key: Just as you would grab some time ahead of a meeting, it’s critical to do the same afterwards. Take time to reflect on your conversations and gauge how they went truly – for everyone involved, then decide what the best next steps should be.
  • Be confident: Managing an entire team is difficult at times, but having confidence in relationships will allow you to support your team stronger. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from others who are around you. Sometimes, the best leader doesn’t have all the answers, but they know exactly how and where to find them.


Pete Rhoden, Paraplanning Manager

-The Verve Group