I’ve always had a mantra about what good consulting is.
It’s what I strive for, and what I say ad nauseam when I teach consulting skills.
Great consulting is when we come up with a better answer than either one of us would have come up with alone.
That means although I may have a framework, and if it’s relevant, may start there, I’ll bastardise the bejezus out of it (or dump it altogether) until it gets to a better answer. Sometimes your client may say they want you to go in with “the answer”. But without a real dialogue, “the answer” is rarely the best answer.
And the more I think about it, the more I think that’s true of all relationships. A beautiful relationship leads to lives where both people involved (or all 3 or whatever your thing is!) are better off for having become involved with each other than if they hadn’t.
It is one of my interpretations of the wonderful Iranian poet Rumi’s quote:
“You think because you understand ‘one’ you must also understand ‘two’, because one and one make two. But you must also understand ‘and’.”
A great consultant is defined in the “and”. And a great client is also defined in the “and”. As true for a consultant as it is for an advisor, a coach, a leader, a mentor, a spouse, a parent or a friend.
So as we kick off another week, I hope your “ands” create beauty for you and whoever you’re “anding” with!
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