Five Questions Every Consultant Should Answer
I’m continually surprised by how many companies are engaged in drama-based relationships with the consultants they’ve hired. Are any of these characteristics present in your relationship with a consultant?
- Consultant gives you advice from an emotional distance and doesn’t seem to care about what you are actually going through. If the advice doesn’t work, they blame it on you.
- Recommendations seem generic, not suited to your situation.
- If you question their advice, they become defensive.
- They tell you to “trust them” because they are the expert.
- They keep you dependent on them instead of building your own competence and confidence.
- They over adapt to please you or say what you want to hear instead of telling you the truth.
- They squirm when you ask about metrics or return on investment.
If you are looking to hire a consultant and want to avoid drama, require that they answer these questions to demonstrate that they will be open, resourceful and persistent with you.
- How will you get to know our unique situation and adapt accordingly?
- How will we measure positive change and return on investment?
- Describe how you’ve handled past situations where the client’s wishes were against your best judgment.
- How do you foster sustainability and self-confidence in your clients? i.e. How will you work yourself out of a job?
- Describe a situation where you held firm to an important boundary and risked losing a client.
Drama-based relationships with consultants (and any vendor, for that matter) happen when either party falls into the Drama Triangle and adopts one of the three dram roles; Victim, Rescuer, or Persecutor. When this happens, energy and resources get diverted away from healthy progress toward self-justification and self-protection. If you are a consultant and want to become a trusted advisor who steers clear of drama, here are some tips.
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