The hardest part of being a consultant is redirecting.
Sometimes, I have potential customers come to me with a problem they are currently experiencing. Whether large or small, they have an issue that is impeding their goals, and this pain point needs to be addressed.
Sometimes they come to me with the solution in mind. I am delighted to work with solutions-focused clients. They know their team, culture and industry, bringing a wealth of knowledge on how the situation may be fixed. For many, there is a kernel of a solution that needs to be teased out.
My job is to help them find the BEST solution. Sometimes it is building on the ideas already there, but sometimes it is going in a completely different direction.
As someone experienced with corporate training, I often have clients approach with a request for a class. Sometimes, it is a great fit, other times it is not.
Here’s what we often forget to consider – a classroom is not always the best place to learn. There are many options – on the job learning, mentoring, coaching, self-paced courses, traditional courses and beyond.
Why put your team through a class when a process redesign is needed?
Why waste time traveling to an in-person session when it is not going to result in behavior change?
Could the solution come in the form of a job study or job aid?
If a classroom is the best setting, how is the material designed to be sustained?
OR THE NEVER ENDING QUESTION:
Why did we have a meeting when this could have been an email?
I’m a consultant with your best interest in mind. I believe in the classes and materials that I sell through my business — but I will only recommend them if that is what you need.
Sure, it means that sometimes I will turn away business or redirect potential clients from an original request. I may event refer out to some of my trusted colleagues who bring a different approach or expertise.
As you consider your development goals for yourself or your team in 2023, I invite you to consider the most critical question – what do I want to change and what is the best approach to get there?
At the end of the day, the RIGHT solution is my goal for all of my customers.