My greatest weakness is my constant struggle with the temptation to accept the power that the other person grants you when he asks for advice. It takes extraordinary discipline in those situations to reflect for a moment on what is going on (deal with reality) and to ask a question that might reveal more or encourage the other to tell more before I start solving problems. If I think about how I refrain from leading with my assumptions or immediately sharing experiences from past projects, I come back to leading with inquiry. Additionally, the entry consulting process I follow tends to be more successful when I can work with project owner from the beginning. My first step is to create the starting line with the project owner. We jointly conclude the problem we are looking to solve, along with what success would look like. When I help them envision what success looks like, the starting line becomes clear. I often talk about what success looks like before we come to the problem statement to make a clear connect the two and envision the path forward. Coming up with the problems seems like a simple task but, is the most difficult part of my process and the most detrimental if not carved out properly. Resisting the temptation to plug in my expertise immediately and start solving problems is also important for my client to become invested in our joint success and without this investment and joint accountability to ensure barriers are removed and landmines are highlighted the failure would be entirely mine.
More recently I have been reflecting on my best client engagements and feel that they home one major criteria in common. In these instances, I do not just perform a technical fix but create an adaptive learning environment where the client learns to think like a consultant. They have experienced a consulting project and have the confidence to scope other challenges as they arise in their organizations. These clients have a newly formed confidence in themselves and as well as feeling like the one-off project was successful. I was able to teach them a skill they could leverage in their role.My