"You Can't Outsource Empathy" - Seth Godin


Grief Smart Advisor

Connect, support and retain clients 
 experiencing life's most difficult transitions

Show up with more heart and sensitivity, create inclusive language

and build a reputation as a Grief Smart company.


Kathi Balasek is an educator, grief literacy communication coach, corporate consultant, university lecturer, speaker, podcast host, and widow advocate. She teaches financial 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.

We will ALL experience grief and loss. Grief leadership and communication are critical  now! Join me in this cultural conversation.

Say the right thing - learn to communicate authentically with someone who is grieving.

We have all had moments of loss. What you say is important. It's a skill, not a gift.


This is completely normal:

  • Feeling helpless, powerless and unprepared to help your grieving clients
  • Fear of not knowing what to say or do
  • A lack of understanding about grief and loss
  • Feeling ill-equipped with skills surrounding grief
  • Awkward, uncomfortable conversations

Learn the language of loss. 

Show up with more heart and sensitivity so you retain, attract and support clients through life's most difficult transitions.  


Speaking Engagements

In Person or Virtual

Lead and advocate across your industry. Book Kathi as your next conference speaker and/ breakout session leader.  Inspire your company members to become confident and competent in grief literacy communication.  Walk away with key strategies, tools and action steps that retain, attract and support clients through life's most difficult transitions.  Join this cultural conversation so people feel acknowledged, heard and respected through grief and loss.

Workshop Trainings

In Person or Virtual

Get your team on board to create a grief smart environment that best serves your clients.  Whether you work with clients experiencing widowhood, divorce, retirement, or caregiving, we will curate a training program specifically for your needs and goals.  Learn exactly what to say, ask and do in a variety of scenarios and life transitions.  In person and virtual training opportunities available. You and your team will learn which pro-active steps to take now with grieving clients.

Coming Soon! Self Guided Courses

Widowhood: Retaining the Surviving Spouse  

Prepare upfront with actions that support, specifically the first year.  Communication skills that engage and develop rapport. Empower and advocate for solo women.

Grief Literacy Communication for Financial Professionals

Communication skills that build connection with people who grieve.  Develop an understanding of the grief process.  Learn exactly what to say, not say, ask and do in a variety of scenarios. 

Stacy Francis

President & CEO, Francis Financial

Kathi Balasek did a fantastic training for our team of financial advisors on working with clients who are going through grief. We work mainly with widows and women going through divorce, so this was really apropos for us! Kathi was the best presenter I have ever heard on this subject, and she helped us to understand what these clients need and what they don’t need, how to effectively communicate with them in a compassionate and empathetic way, and why all of that is important for us in this industry. Kathi’s talk was highly informative, clarifying, and empowering!

Sheryl O'Connor

CEO & Founder, IncomeConductor

After almost 30 years in financial services working with advisors focused on retirement income planning, I have seen that the most successful advisors are those that build strong client relationships. There is no one better to help advisors develop these skills than Kathi Balasek.  Her personal experience of losing her husband and working with her advisor through this difficult period gives her a unique perspective, and her expertise as a professional educator and speaker gives her the ability to communicate these complex issues with a level of clarity and compassion that is rarely found in this industry.  Kathi’s sincerity and strong desire to help both advisors and their clients has an immediate impact on her audience, not just affecting how advisors interact with their grieving clients, but also how they react to grief personally in their own lives.  

Brian King

Senior Vice President, Branch Manager at RBC Wealth Management

Kathi brings tremendous value to our Wealth Management practice. Her own personal experience, story telling ability and kind, caring insight, truly resonates with the clientele that we serve, and our advisors who work with them on a daily basis. Well done Kathi, you bring immediate value to all you touch.

How it Works

Schedule a time to discuss your needs

Would love to talk about your needs, your practice and how we can collaborate.

Allow us to create a customized plan

Based on your needs, goals and vision, we can meet and discuss a tailored plan and recommend a course of action.

Let's execute the plan together

Whether you need executive coaching, an employee workshop or event speaking, we will coordinate a timeline and strategic plan toward your goals.

Schedule a Consultation

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