“From one thing, know ten thousand” Musashi tells us in The Book of Five Rings, a guide to warfare and self-discipline that financial advisors would do well to study. My own practice in the martial arts, the discipline and vision and confidence it engenders, is one of the key factors in my limited success in our field. The ability to interpolate the big picture from a few scraps of information, to draw a big picture from a few dots, to see the whole from the parts requires metacognitive capabilities and training but is what makes great advisors.
What are the crucial details you look for? How do you size your opponent up instantly? As a martial artist I note what handed someone is, how they carry themselves, their knuckles, any physical biases or weaknesses. As an advisor I listen to the words a client uses to see if they are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners so that I can literally speak their language, to get into their mental fortress without having to fight the guards.
What do you observe with a client?
From one thing, know ten thousand.