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Flawless Consulting

A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used

By Peter Block
  • Read in 13 minutes
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  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Flawless Consulting by Peter Block

Flawless Consulting (second edition, 2000) gives you an inside look into the art of consulting with a step-by-step guide to all the phases of a professional consultation. Whether you’re a consultant just starting your career or a business leader working with consultants, this book will show you how to successfully manage consultant-client relationships.

Key idea 1 of 8

Being rational is good. Focusing on interpersonal dynamics and emotions is even better.

Many believe that being rational is the key to making effective decisions. So managers often try to suppress their more impulsive, emotional sides and focus on being logical.

But really, this isn’t always the best approach. If you’re a consultant, being cold and rational will only take you so far.

Consultation happens on two levels: the technical, business level and the interpersonal level. And even amid the most technical, complicated systems, we can’t forget that every employee is a human, too!

The bottom line is that a consultant can’t truly grasp the problem if she doesn’t understand the emotional and interpersonal dynamics of the situation at hand.

Consider a hospital where many different types of doctors and specialists see a single patient. An internist may draw blood; a nurse administers medicine; and so on. Although database software could streamline and help organize this multilevel process, this would only happen if everyone involved in the process used the software properly.

Thus as a consultant, you have to realize that introducing a new efficiency tool isn’t just a question of adequate terminals or software proficiency. Each doctor or specialist will need to adjust how they work on a personal level, too. If you ignore this variable, the introduction of new technology is all but useless!

And while interpersonal dynamics are important, as a consultant, don’t ignore your own feelings. Pay attention to your first response to a situation; it might shed light on a deeper issue, as well as effectively highlighting a potential solution.

So if you get the sense that management is too hard on employees, it’s a sure bet that the employees feel this, too. Armed with this bit of intuition, a consultant can then discover ways to improve communication between staff and management, ultimately building a better team.

To sum up, don’t ignore your feelings and instincts. Instead, use them as data to better understand the situation in front of you!

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