By Alexis De Sela, COO
My decision to become a full-time consultant was solidified after I had a disastrous consulting experience many years ago:
The consultant asked very few questions and didn’t listen when we spoke. He talked about himself, who he knew and how much influence he had, and inappropriately shared information about other organizations. He was condescending, implying that we were doing everything wrong and that following his “sage advice” was the only thing that would save our organization. Each meeting we had was spent in the same fashion, until we finally released him. It was a costly, unproductive, and ultimately, unsuccessful partnership.
However, that experience began to shape my own consulting philosophy:
Be a humble partner with a heart for serving people who want to increase organizational capacity in order to better deliver on the promise of their Mission.
To deliver consulting services with lasting impact, an effective consultant should strive to:
Listen deeply, without bias, to understand your organizational needs and issues so that we can effectively problem-solve together.
Approach our work together in a spirit of service, with humility and gentleness. Difficult issues can be discussed and recommendations made with firmness combined with kindness.
Provide practical recommendations and the tools necessary for their successful implementation. We do not do the work for you; instead, we build your capacity to do the needed work. A seasoned consultant can guide the process and teach you the skills you need to do the work successfully. You then own the win and will know how to replicate it. Leadership and professional growth is your responsibility.
Communicate about issues in a robust, candid, and open manner. Without this level of honesty and trust, lasting and meaningful results will be difficult to achieve.
Teach and instill the language and behaviors of sustainability in every client, in every type of engagement. The true test of our work and organizational success is ensuring long-term impact. Our collective results should ultimately have one focus: Serving the client so they are better off tomorrow.
If you would like to learn more about our capacity building work, please contact us.