A key challenge
facing many professionals is moving from contributing from
the position of “expert” (using
specialist know-how to provide a solution to the business),
to the role of “enabler,” (helping the business
generate its own thinking by inputting expert knowledge appropriately,
to assist in business decision-making). This shift requires
the professional to be able to demonstrate client- centred
thinking and client -centred skills & behaviours. Consultancy
skills (including facilitation) is an example of how professionals
can position themselves as a sustainable partner to the business.
This challenge demands a different set of skills. In our work, we see a range
of reasons why professionals fail as consultants and/or facilitators:
They value too highly personal expertise – if we
believe our value resides in what we know and our experience,
rather than having an interest in what the business requires,
(“taking our expertise to market”), we may not
facilitate discussions – instead we will tell.
They lack personal confidence to deal with conflict, apathy,
or resistance. If we do not manage these common dynamics – the
client or group manages us – and we do not achieve
the agreed outcomes.
They possess little knowledge of group processes which
help achieve clear outcomes. This results in redundant work
inside the room, or alternatively, key aspects being re-worked.
Their high personal standards derail the group. Progress
becomes slowed up, as unnecessary detail or information is
sought by the consultant or facilitator. This results in
motivation for change tailing off.
They lack a required level of achievement behaviour – this
results in lack of closure and clarity..
It can be seen, therefore, that consulting and facilitation
require a significant level of emotional intelligence and basic
Programs in Facilitation & Consulting
We run two day programs for professional staff to explore their
contribution to the business and introduce them to a range
of tools and techniques to help them build business partnerships
to maximise business value.