It is hard to ask for help, especially when it comes to people issues! In fact,
most of us know how to do what we do… and believe that people should just do
their job and get along! Sadly, that is not always the case. Engaging the right
consultant can be a great investment resulting in great dividends BOTH
financially and emotionally. So what should you look for in a consultant to get
your Leadership and your Team working better together?
Your consultant must be a good fit for your organization. They have to
“get” you and your organization and you have to trust them. You need to be honest with
them and them with you, much like a doctor with a patient.
It is vital that the consultant have the highest character. For example, the
consultant must be willing to tell clients things they don’t want to hear, but need
to — even if doing so means that the consultant loses business. The consultant
must care deeply about her or his clients, valuing confidentiality and producing
Your consultant needs to have both the education and experience. Ask for
credentials. Be wary of “certificates.” Who issued them? What did the consultant
have to do to earn one? Where did they get their education? Are they a
consultant because they are between jobs or is this their job? Just because they
have worked with people, doesn’t mean that they know how to train and consult
with yours. A good consultant should have experience with the challenges or
opportunities you and your company are facing. She may not know your specific
company or industry but she needs to have experience addressing and
improving the types of issues you face.
Your consultant needs outstanding communication skills which means being
a good listener. No matter how smart a consultant is, they won’t be able to help
you until they fully understand the challenges you face.
The consultant needs to be smart and results oriented, even if it means sharing
some hard truths, in a tactful way. After all, you are hiring a consultant to help you
resolve issues or take advantage of opportunities. Change is difficult and
takes the investment of time and resources. Make sure you are both willing
to make that investment!