STANDARD DEVIATIONS PODCAST: Kathi Balasek – Becoming Grief Literate


This week on Standard Deviations with Dr. Daniel Crosby, Dr. Crosby is joined by Kathi Balasek.

Kathi Balasek is an educator, grief literacy & empathy communication coach, corporate consultant, university lecturer, speaker, podcast host, and widow advocate. She teaches professionals how to improve their grief literacy communication skills to best serve bereaved clients. Experiencing the financial uniqueness of widowhood first hand, she learned that the relationship between professionals and bereaved clients is pivotal. Combining her 25 years of teaching, coaching and personal experience, she created Grief Smart Advisor as a tool to help professionals retain, connect and support clients experiencing loss and grief. She is currently a lecturer at California State University, Chico in the Department of Communication and Education where she trains future teachers and athletic coaches. She has a passion for motivating leaders to develop communication skills that engage and connect.

Tune in to hear:

– What life journey brought Kathi to a place where she focused on grief professionally?

– Why did Kathi experience guilt and shame around her lack of financial literacy in a moment of crisis?

– People often say very inappropriate things when they are struggling to address the grieving, even if well-intentioned. Why is this the case and what can be done about it?

– Why something as simple as asking a deceased person’s name can be so meaningful to their loved ones.

– What does it mean to be “grief literate?”

– What is it about the unique combination of loss and money that makes us so reticent to talk about it?

– What is “disenfranchised grief” and how can loved ones, advisors or others avoid falling prey to this phenomenon?

– How does Kathi work with advisors who are a bit hesitant to talk about grief and other intimate topics?

– What are some best practices / things to say when talking to someone who is actively grieving?

– How can we strike a good balance between sitting with someone in their grief and offering optimism? Is this hopeful perspective often more hurtful than it is helpful?

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Educated at Brigham Young and Emory Universities, Dr. Daniel Crosby, the personality behind STANDARD DEVIATIONS podcast, is a psychologist and behavioral finance expert who helps organizations understand the intersection of mind and markets.

Dr. Crosby’s first book, Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management, was a New York Times bestseller. His second book, The Laws of Wealth, was named the best investment book of 2017 by the Axiom Business Book Awards and has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and German. His latest work, The Behavioral Investor, is an in-depth look at how sociology, psychology and neurology all impact investment decision-making.