Is Consulting in Your Future?

Quite a few of my clients wonder if they should change their career path and go into consulting.

Yesterday, I was being interviewed by someone who is thinking of making just such a career change. He had asked if he could "pick my brains" about what I do and how I do it.
At one point in the call, he interjected that "It sounds like you are a counselor or a coach quite often." I responded that I prefer to use the term consultant.
In my view, we are consultants because we are there to help the client achieve his or her goals. As a consultant, we bring a deep capability, but we don't apply it like a cookie cutter. Rather, we listen, assess, and recommend, using what Edgar Schein would call "humble inquiry."
My interviewer pressed me to describe my process so I attempted to describe it (see below)...but added that actual engagements are seldom so neat and linear.

Consulting Process

Phase 1: Assess - Start with where my client "is at" right now. Explore and uncover what it is they want to achieve.

Phase 2: Design - Offer some approaches and options to the client. Be the client's "thinking partner."

Phase 3: Action - Help them evaluate and decide on the course of action they will pursue.

Phase 4: Presence - Provide support and encouragement to the client as they make the moves they chose to make toward their goals. Be there for them, as needed.

Phase 5: Learning - Help the client to learn from their experience as they go along, capturing "lessons learned."

Phase 6: Accomplishment - Help the client to capitalize on the gains they have made. 

Are you a consultant? How would you describe what you do?

Are you thinking about consulting? Is consulting in your future.....?


Loretta Donovan said…
I like your distinction. As a coach I don't design solutions. My focus is on building new strengths and self-knowledge in my clients so they can consistently design their own sustainable solutions. I provide the scaffold; they contribute the building blocks and labor.

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