Do You Want To Be A Trusted Advisor? Get These Three Things Right
A business owner friend of mine once shared with me the distinction between a consultant and an advisor.
A consultant is the first person to be fired when budgets are being cut. An advisor is the first person I call when times are tough.
Is your goal to be a trusted advisor? If so, get these three things right to boost your credibility and positive impact with your clients.
Be transparent and authentic
A trusted advisor is honest about their feelings, motives, and intentions. Being clear about who you are and what you want lets your client know they are dealing with an authentic human that can be trusted. This is a rare thing in the life of most top executives. They crave a real connection with someone who is not trying to take advantage of them or put on a front.
Rarely give advice
Paradoxically, a trusted advisor only gives advice under rare situations. Mostly, they facilitate learning and insight with their client in a way that builds the client’s confidence and autonomy. If you feel the need to show how smart you are by giving advice and creating dependence from your client, you don’t have their best interests in mind.
Practice compassionate accountability
Trusted advisors can be counted on to hold their clients accountable without using guilt, intimidation, or other manipulation tactics. Compassionate accountability is an extremely rare quality in most professional helpers I’ve met. If you care so much about your client that you are willing to risk healthy conflict to address the real issues, then you will gain access to a much larger part of their world.
Being a trusted advisor is as much about who you are as a person as it is about your particular skill sets or knowledge base. Open up, stop trying to be the expert, and learn how to have healthy conflict and you will become a much more valuable asset to all the people in your life.
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