What do you do when your client is weeping in your office? Michael Kay, the president of Financial Focus, believes planners must be comfortable with emotions and know their clients well. To do this, they must achieve their own emotional clarity, balancing their business and personal lives. Here, some excerpts, from a stimulating conversation with the Livingston, N.J.-based planner:

"We always ask, 'What must happen for you to feel satisfied and successful? And what are you willing to do to get there?' If what they say must happen is impossible, I tell them. I'm really good at naming the elephant in the room.

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