Key Consultancy Styles & Framework


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Leaders Lab look into some key consultancy styles, establishing the framework for effective consultancy; building trust, communicating, listening and advising.

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Key Consultancy Styles & Framework

  1. 1. Key Consultancy Styles and Framework 01865 881056
  2. 2. The Consultancy Framework Each consultancy project moves through several phases: there is a shape to the process. If consultancy projects go wrong, it is most often due to the consultant’s mishandling of one or more of these phases, especially the first three. There are seven key stages you move through in the consultancy process. These are not linear and don’t always follow the same order, but they fall into three easy categories: • Building Trust • Creating The Possibility • Getting Into Action Read on to see how the seven stages build on each other in a consultancy project… 01865 881056
  3. 3. Building Trust 1. Making initial contact: creating a rapport with a new client or developing it with an existing one 2. Gaining entry - earning the right to be your client’s consultant (even more important if they don’t have much of a choice!) 01865 881056
  4. 4. Creating The Possibility 3. Contracting with a client: the skills required to build a working relationship 4. Agreeing your client’s requirements and collecting relevant data 5. Designing and managing a consultancy strategy and style 01865 881056
  5. 5. Getting Into Action 6. Problem solving, feedback and implementation 7. Dis- or re-engagement and follow up: feedback on how far the situation has been resolved and discussion of any proposed follow-on services 01865 881056
  6. 6. Styles of Communication You are likely to interact with a wide range of clients, in different roles, who all have their own unique problems. We’ve identified four separate styles of communication that will help you adapt your style to differing circumstances and personalities:
  7. 7. Active Listening This is used when your client’s feelings and emotions are stopping them from dealing with the issue in a logical manner. The key to an active listening approach is being empathetic, helping them to acknowledge and cope with the feelings that are blocking progress. In this mode, you stay very closely with the client and his or her frame of reference until they say, or you sense, that they are ready to move on. 01865 881056
  8. 8. Directional Questioning Here you support your client in clarifying their understanding of the problem, analyse it and then move on to look at all possible options before making a committed decision. It’s important to be certain that your client is ready to be gently encouraged to move away from their initial ‘safe’ position on the issue that you are tackling. 01865 881056
  9. 9. Challenging When you find that the client is part of the problem itself, you may need to point out that there is an inconsistency between what they say they will do and what they are actually doing. This is a high risk intervention and you must be sure that your relationship with the client and the level of trust between you is very high before you use this style. 01865 881056
  10. 10. Prescriptive A prescriptive approach can be defined as listening to your client’s problem, conducting a thorough diagnosis, and then offering them a solution or recommendation. Your client needs to have bought into your credibility and expertise and to have given ‘permission’ for you, in effect, to tell them what to do! 01865 881056
  11. 11. For more information: To get a chance of practising these four styles, and how they are experienced as a client, find out more about the Leaders Lab Consultancy Skills Programmes If any of the themes in this presentation strike a chord, then do leave a comment or email us at 01865 881056
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