The purpose of identifying and understanding the poverty mindset is to be able to develop tools and strategies for addressing its negative and long-term impact on the life of anyone living with its effects.
A “Poverty Mindset” facilitates the financial disconnect which causes avoidance of all things having to do with money, particularly any effort to improve financial circumstances.
A “Positive Mindset” provides the foundation for a life filled with more hope and potential, allowing clients to view the world as a more friendly, supportive place; the future as a time/place when/where the possibility exists to have more, do more and be more.
5 Ways to help clients begin to make the shift from a “Poverty Mindset” to a “Positive Mindset:”
- Inject HOPE into every aspect of your client work – especially into financial stability efforts. Hopelessness closes the door to change; Hope opens it! THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.
- Connect clients to the financial component of their lives. The huge financial disconnect among all socioeconomic groups is driven by financial illiteracy. Without the financial knowledge, tools and skills required to create a better tomorrow, this disconnect is perpetuated and passed down from one generation to the next. Connecting clients to the financial component of their lives begins by having them recognize there is such a thing; what it looks like; how it can benefit them.
- Ask clients what they want their money to do for them. This perspective encourages clients to consider and envision a better and different future in which they could have more control over their money and their lives.
- Help each client to identify “What’s In It for ME.” When a client understands how his/her life and the lives of his/her children/family can improve as a result of creating a more stable financial future the potential for financial behavioral change increases exponentially.
- Demystify Money Management. Simplifying managing your money makes doing so less threatening and intimidating for clients — a critical and more empowering approach which is certainly more engaging. Money management doesn’t require anything more than paying attention to 1. Where your money goes; 2. How, when and why it goes there; 3. Whether where it goes is by choice or by chance.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen over time and these steps will help clients begin the shift from a “Poverty Mindset” to a more “Positive Mindset.”
By Reeta Wolfsohn, CMSW
*First published at: http://www.financialsocialwork.com/5-ways-move-clients-poverty-mindset-positive-mindset for more from FSW, go to Visit http://www.financialsocialwork.com
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