On being a consultant

November 26, 2010

I was asked about making the transition from practitioner to consultant, and offer the following advice:

  • You don’t have to have answers, and certainly don’t have to have them right up front!
  • Ask insightful questions, listen, listen more.
  • Let the clients voice what they need, the visions they carry, the kinds of support that will help them make needed changes.
  • More change will happen when they name it themselves. And when the client’s management sees that real change follows your visits, you’ll be a hero.

Yes — you may have lots of information, may see things very quickly, and could impress people by coming in swinging.  In the long run, this works against you.

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