Consultancy Skills

  2 Days

As organisations move away from traditional hierarchical structures, it is common to see experts from one function supporting or enabling the efforts of another. Some organisations formalise the relationship through central services functions, whilst in others, managers are seconded or lend their expertise on a temporary basis before returning eventually to their principal role. In either case, the ‘helpers’ are operating as ‘internal consultants’. The one important feature that defines the relationship between the internal consultant and the client, i.e. the person or function that is receiving the help, is that the client retains overall responsibility and accountability for the outcome. Peter Block defined the role of the consultant quite neatly when he said, “You are consulting any time you are trying to change or improve a situation but have no direct control over the implementation.” This definition emphasise that consultants are helpers or enablers, and assume that this help can be provided by people doing a wide range of jobs. This programme explores the role of the consultant, the consultant-client relationship and the skills needed to operate successfully in the consultant role.

Workshop Objectives:

On completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define the term consultancy and the principal aim of the consultant in helping or enabling others to achieve a goal
  • Explain the different roles adopted by the consultant in response to the needs of the project and the client
  • Explain how to identify the real client and how to build the client-consultant relationship
  • Describe the phases of a typical consultancy assignment from entry through to withdrawal
  • Describe various techniques employed during the diagnosis and action planning phases to help the client establish a viable implementation plan
  • List the basic and advanced influencing skills required to help and support the client in making the right choices throughout the project.
  • List techniques that the consultant can use to influence the client in a variety of difficult or challenging situations
  • List the skills required of a consultant and develop a personal action plan for enhancing their skills as necessary. 

Worksop Content:

  • Introduction to Consultancy
    • What is Consulting?
    • Role of the Consultant
    • Directive - Non-Directive Continuum
    • Balance of responsibility
    • Task and Maintenance Processes
    • Consultant Attributes
    • Code of Ethics
  • Consulting Issues
    • Who is the Real Client?
    • Client-Consultant Relationship
    • Trust Equation
    • Trust Triangle
    • Exposing the Hidden Issues
  • Collecting and Analysing Data
    • Information Requirement
    • Collecting Data
    • Collating Data
    • Analysing Data
    • Selecting Change
  • Influencing Skills
    • The Power of Positive Language
    • Elements of Communication
    • The Belief Cycle
    • Deletion, Distortion and Generalisation
    • Questioning
    • Active Listening
    • Matching and Mirroring
    • Representation Systems
    • Assertiveness
    • Transactional Analysis
  • Overcoming Difficulties
    • Types of Client Resistance
    • Dealing with Resistance
    • Implementation Problems
    • Typical Causes
  • Action Planning