October 25, 2011
A Consultant’s Perspective
When being in the consultant role, I was a bit nervous and excited. Many thoughts ran through my mind, such as, am I knowledgeable, capable, or emotionally ready for this assignment. To ease the nervousness, my partner and I thought it would be best to exchange information on our expertise and give examples on how we help or consult an individual. I listened to my partner carefully as he was sharing his story. As I listened, I noticed that I was eager to interject and offer advice. I was thinking his problem is not really a “problem” I fell into the category of: (1) using the power and authority and (3) meeting defensiveness with more pressure. (Schein, 1999) I wanted to lay-out an effective plan and say “hear try this,” but I had to remember that this is not recommended for consultants to practice. Knowing this helped remove the areas of ignorance that I had when the client (partner) continued with his story. When my feelings and emotions left and I found myself truly listening to the concerns of my partner, I found myself thinking of the consultant’s duty. Ultimately, it was my duty as a consultant to help assist defining the diagnostic steps which will help guide the client (partner) to understand how to solve problems for himself. (Schein, 1999) The goal is to create an executable plan based on the diagnosis. Reading Schein’s perspective on how to approach a consulting situation is “the consultant must not take the monkey off the client’s back but recognize that the problem is ultimately the client’s and only the client.” (Schein, 1999, p. 9) Therefore, it would not have been in either parties best interest, if I would have persuade or force my views on my partner. This is an opportunity for me to work on in order to become an excellent consultant. Using the various forms of inquiry questions was challenging....