Making the Most of Your Consulting Relationship

Written by Lynn Bennett on .

“Many receive advice: few profit by it” – Publilius Syrus

When the game starts, you’re the one taking the field; you’re the one taking that penalty shot or making the save. Your consultant can ask the questions, do the analysis, formulate the recommendations, give you the tools and training, but you’ve got to put them into play. When working with any consultant, there are ways that you can maximize the benefit and profit.

How can you make the most of your engagement with your consultant?

Top factors in a successful engagement include:

  • Be prepared. Are you ready to get to work? Are you prepared for change? Readiness is a crucial factor; in fact, without that, any “changes” you make will be short-lived and ineffective.
  • Accept responsibility. Ensure you spend time up front with the consultant understanding ‘who is doing what and for whom? And for what purpose or outcome?’ This is also an opportunity for you and members of your team to work side by side with the consultant and learn by observation as well as by doing under the guidance of an expert.
  • Provide access to decision-makers. If we work with someone who cannot make decisions, or is not empowered to make decisions, the process is for naught. It becomes almost a token gesture instead of a real engagement with the potential for change.
  • Provide access to key stakeholders. We need access to key people in order to complete our analysis and move the project forward in a timely manner.

The hardest part of any consulting relationship is letting someone – a third party, a stranger, an outsider – into your world. That’s our accountability: we have to put you at ease, build and sustain trust, and demonstrate the value you’ll receive from an engagement with us. After that barrier is knocked down, we can get down to work and start seeing results.

Lynn Bennett

Lynn Bennett

Lynn Bennett is a certified management and executive coach and founder of Leadership Intelligence and its Community. She brings both expertise and an engaging approach to strategic planning, organizational development and change management. lynn@leadershipintelligence.com

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