The best player does not make the best coach. This is because a Kapil Dev or Sachin Tendulkar just cannot understand how you can’t be as committed as they are. There starts the problem.

If you have not been trained in counselling, or you have not done client work, or you have not gone out there and sold a product, you may not make a good adviser. Some of the worst professions for being a coach are that of being a journalist, professor at a college, etc.

Counselling requires being able to appreciate the client’s requirements. It is easy to say “this is how I did it, and it is the ONLY right way”. This is great for a very committed student – a Drona could have done this with Arjun. However, it is not the way to grow your counselling practice. It is a great attitude to take if you are a blogger who does not want to earn money from blogging. “My way or the highway”. Donald Trump attitude. Enough Indian politicians, but I do not wish to name them.

Knowledge should lead to humility. Sadly this does not happen. It leads to “Vidya Garvam” – which makes very highly qualified persons not very good for advisory business. Of course there are exceptions, but this is the rule.

If a person has never borrowed money, he is unfit for giving advice on borrowing, repaying loans, credit cards, credit score, etc. and this person could be old fashioned. I have never, ever borrowed in my life. That does not mean that a person who borrows money is wrong. People need to know how to borrow responsibly. Personally to me or even my daughter life insurance is of no consequence. However, I would not say that the premium that I made on my term insurance is money wasted.

All financial products have their place in a person’s life. For my domestic servant I would prefer that she take a simple classic endowment policy paying Rs. 1000 per month instead of a combination of term insurance and mf sip. Very good chance that they will stop the sip and withdraw the money. So advising is about knowing what the client will do and what is ideal for the client. The conflict between the Mind and the Intellect is not easy to resolve. Take an example. You have a ‘diet consultant’ – he tells you that you should eat one cucumber and one tomato at 5pm so that you are not hungry at 7pm which is the time of your last meal – a soup. You call him at 5pm and say “I am at a bhelpuri stall..and I am tempted to have a bhel while I know that I should be eating a cucumber and tomato – what should I do”.

A typical arrogant individual who can’t be a coach would say “I told you….and that is what you should do”.

A real coach would say…”ask the vendor to give you HALF a bhelpuri..now add the cucumber and tomato to that and eat that…and then make sure that you skip the soup”. This would be a much better solution. If you act arrogantly the client (you) will just go away and not use him as a consultant.

Of course if consulting is not your profession and it is just an arrogant hobby, you are likely to say “I do not care”. If you are a professional coach or adviser you will realize that each client is different. Some clients can give up sugar immediately and some struggle for 6 months to cut down sugar by 50%. Consulting is not just about knowing, it is also about being able to handle the gentle communication with the end user.

Some of the best communicators are doctors who are successful and some of the worst communicators are doctors who were academically great, but arrogant. Such doctors are a huge disaster as far as their practice goes.

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  1. What about data privacy issues in India ? Are there sufficient safeguards and controls when it comes to handling client confidentiality and client data ?

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