Flawless Consulting

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Transcript of Flawless Consulting

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Flawless ConsultingPeter BlockPfeiffer & CompanySan Francisco; Jossey-Bass, 1981 A Guide to Getting Your Expertise UsedProfessional Selling Series"High Hard Ones"gillisProfessional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis12The PromiseThe power balance in lateral relationships is always open to ambiguity and to negotiation.When we get resistance from a client, sometimes we arent sure whether to push harder or to let go.This book is about managing this kind of ambiguity.Its about methods and techniques, but the consistent message is that each act that expresses trust in ourselves and belief in the validity of our own experience is always the right path to follow.Each act that is manipulative or filled with pretense is always self-destructive.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis2FC8,93Situation OverviewApply to allSituationsAssertivenessSupportivenessConfrontationListeningGroup ProcessInterpersonal SkillsSpecific to your disciplineEngineeringProject MgmtMarketingManufacturingPersonnelTechnical SkillsRequirements ofeach phaseContractingDiagnosisFeedbackDecision

Consulting SkillsThe Main EventImplementation = Internal CommitmentThe Preliminary EventsPeter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis3FC74Beyond SubstanceYou always operate at two levels. One level is the substance the cognitive, problem-solving, rational, or explicit level.At another level, both you and the client are generating and sensing your feeling about each other.Acceptance or resistance.High or low tension.Support or confrontation.The second level is the affective side a second level of data that needs attention.

Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis4FC115Affective ElementsResponsibility.In most cases the client comes to you with the expectation that once you are told what the problem is, you provide the solution.Your goal is to act out the fact that its a 50-50 proposition.FeelingsFeelings are diagnostic data.Is the client owning feelings or just observing.Pay attention to your own feelings too. Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis5FC126Affective ElementsTrust.The prevailing image is the consultant as expert and someone to watch out for.Ask the client whether they trust your confidentiality, if they trust you not to put them down or take things over.The more distrust is put into words, the more likely you are to build trust.Your Own Needs.Consultants have a right to their own needs from a relationship.Its easy to fall into a service mentality.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis6FC137AssumptionsProblem solving requires valid data.Objective data Personal data.Effective decision making requires free and open choice.Effective implementation requires internal commitment.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis7FC14,158Consultants GoalsTo establish a collaborative relationship.To solve problems so they stay solved.To ensure attention is given to both the technical business problem and the relationships.To develop client commitment.We may cling to the fantasy that if our thinking is clear and logical, our wording is eloquent, and our convictions are solid, the strengths of our arguments will carry the day.The client and his or her colleagues will experience doubt and dilemmas that block commitment.Confront the doubts at every stage.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis8FC15-179The core transaction of any consulting contract is the transfer of expertise from the consultant to the client. Whatever the expertise, its the basis for the consultants being in business. Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis9FC2310RolesExpert Role (what can happen)The manager elects to play an inactive role.Decisions on how to proceed are made by the consultant.Information needed is gathered by the consultant.Technical control rests with the consultant.Collaboration is not required.Two-way communication is limited.The consultant plans and implements the main events.The managers role is to judge and evaluate after the fact.The consultants goal is to solve the immediate problem.Big problem Between the lines data

Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis10FC18,1911RolesPair-of-Hands (what can happen).The consultant takes a passive role.Decisions on how to proceed are made by the manager.The manager selects methods for analysis.Control rests with the manager, and Collaboration is not really necessary. Two-way communication is limited.The manager specifies procedures for the consultant to implement.The managers role is to judge and evaluate from a close distance.The consultants goal is to make the system more effective by the application of specialized knowledge.Big problem Diagnostic phasePeter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis11FC2012RolesCollaborative Role (what can happen).The consultant and manager work to become interdependent.Decision making is bilateral mutual exchange.Data collection and analysis are joint efforts.Control issues become matters for discussion and negotiation.Collaboration is considered essential.Communication is two-way.Implementation responsibilities are determined by discussion and agreement.The consultants goal is to solve problems so they stay solved.Big problem Perception of foot dragging or insubordination.

Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis12FC21,2213Situation OverviewApply to allSituationsAssertivenessSupportivenessConfrontationListeningGroup ProcessInterpersonal SkillsSpecific to your disciplineEngineeringProject MgmtMarketingManufacturingPersonnelTechnical SkillsRequirements ofeach phaseContractingDiagnosisFeedbackDecision

Consulting SkillsThe Main EventImplementation = Internal CommitmentThe Preliminary EventsPeter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis13FC714The StagesThe stages leading up to implementation of a change (the preliminary events) can be divided into 12 specific action steps.Each step provides an opportunity for you to involve the client in the process without unnaturally downplaying your specific expertise.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis14FC2415The StepsDefining the initial problem.

Deciding to proceed.

Selecting the dimensions to be studied.Ask the client to state what the problem is. Add what you think.You also have some choice. If you think it wont succeed in the way it is set up, negotiate.You may know best, but the client has operating experience with the problem and the people. Ask what to look for.

Peter Block, Flawless Consulting (Shared Involvement)Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis15FC24,2516The StepsWho will be involved?

Selecting the method.

Data collection.

Funneling the data.Data summary.Data analysis.The client often expects the consultant to do the whole job. Involve a consultant-client team.The client has ideas about how the data should be collected. Ask.Have the client do it with you.- 9. Urge the client to be with you at certain points. Involve the client in analysis.

Peter Block, Flawless Consulting (Shared Involvement)Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis16FC25-2717The StepsFeedback of Results.

Making recommendations.

Decision on actions.

More of the same. Have the client share in presenting the data analysis in the feedback meeting.Developing workable recommendations requires the integration of your knowledge and the clients.When someone in the organization has made an important contribution to a project, they should be included in the decision-making meeting.

Peter Block, Flawless Consulting (Shared Involvement)Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis17FC28,2918Being AuthenticAuthentic behavior with a client means you put into words what you are experiencing with the client as you work. This is the most powerful thing you can do to have the leverage you are looking for, and to build client commitment.Whenever you are with a client, ask yourself two questions:Am I being authentic with this person now?Am I completing the business of the consulting phase I am in?Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis18FC3119Completing the RequirementsContracting Phase:Negotiating wants.Coping with mixed motivation.Surfacing concern about exposure and loss of control.Triangular and rectangular contracting.Diagnosis Phase:Layers of analysis.Political climate.Resistance to sharing information.Interview as intervention.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis1920Completing the RequirementsFeedback and Decision Phases:Funneling Data. Feedback should be actionable.Presenting personal and organizational data.Managing the feedback meeting.Focusing on the here and now.Dont take it personally.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis2021The Contracting PhaseFlawless Consulting Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis2122Contracting SkillsTo contract flawlessly is to:Behave authentically, and Complete the business of the contracting phase.The business of this phase is to negotiate wants, cope with mixed motivation, surface concerns about exposure and loss of control, and clarify all parties to the contract.The contract is a social contract simply an explicit agreement of what the consultant and client expect from each other, and how they are going to work together.Peter Block, Flawless Consulting Professional Selling"High Hard Ones"gillis22FC45,4223Consulting CompetenciesAsk direct questions about who the client is and who the less visible parties