Gift Mindedness

One of the best ways to give support to a client is to let them know what is working for you. This is what Peter calls, “Gift Mindedness”, or acknowledging the ways in which you interact with the client. In this video, Peter Block discusses the usefulness of Gift Mindedness in understanding how to work with clients. He urges you to ask the question, “What am I doing that is working for you?” and apply that feedback to your consulting in the future. Understanding the “gifts” of successful interactions with clients can help in any phase of the consulting process and create a better experience for both you and the client.

Freedom and Choices

Business roles are so defined that people lose the idea of creating change within their business. In this short video, Peter Block encourages people to realize they have the power to make choices and the right choices are not necessarily the ones that are commonly practiced. By giving people the power to make a choice, this gives them power and a feeling of ownership. This leads a person to a feeling of responsibility and energizes them to continue to engage and improve the work they do. Change leads to sense of freedom, which leads to innovation and continuous improvement throughout a company.

The Power of Small Groups

In this short video, Peter explains that when diversity of thinking and dissent are given space in small groups, commitments are made without barter and the gifts of each person and our community are acknowledged and valued. As a result, power is produced within the small group. The power of small groups cannot be overemphasized. Large-sale transformation occurs when enough small groups shift in harmony toward the larger scale.

Let’s Take It Slow

Two things are required: time and space. Peter explains that time is subjective and therefore we cannot, and should not, be controlled by it. In Flawless Consulting, Peter says that lack of time, space and money is often used as an excuse by managers who do not want to do a project.

Lack of motivation is really the problem. “If they want to do your project,” he says, “they will find a way.”

It’s All Implementation

Implementation implies that first an idea needs to be formulated, then a decision is made and afterward the actual can work begin. However, this is not the case. Every step-discovery, planning, contracting and engaging people-is all a part of the implementation process. The main focus of implementation should be to bring people together to create and plan how to make something work. Implementation does not actually begin until the people who do the work decide whether they are going to make real changes or simply go through the motions.

I’m Here to Fix You

Trust and connectedness are necessary to a successful contract. In the Flawless Consulting Public Workshops, participants are introduced to the concept of a consultant’s “roles.” Peter presents three common roles played by consultants: Expert, pair-of-hands and collaborative. Each have their strengths and weaknesses, but collaboration is the ultimate goal. Getting to know the client’s problems and working in a collaborative role with them is the key to a successful, long-term contract.

Am I Too Pushy?

Do you ever ask yourself, “Am I too Pushy?” Well, authentic behavior means you put into words the resistance you face during a project. This is the most powerful thing you can do to gain the trust and commitment you are looking for. There is a tendency for us to look for ways of being clever with people. We agonize over ways of presenting our ideas – phrasing the project so it sounds more appealing than it may be. People know when we try to maneuver them, and when it happens, they trust us a little less.

Change Agents

Peter encourages us to change the narrative — not people. The concept of a “change agent” is arrogant, says Peter. Instead of saying “I’m here to change them,” we can say, “I’m here to change the conversation with people about their intentions.” In any conversation aimed to change the narrative, you’re doing two things: giving support to the organization and then confronting it. Peter says the support statement often is a simple acknowledgement that you hear what the client is saying; it means you have listened. The confront statement then identifies the difference between how you see a situation and how the client sees the situation.

Presenting Problems

The first thing you should do is focus on your client, not the problem. Your client knows more about his or her company than you do, so they probably have a better solution. What you should focus on is working through the contracting steps of Flawless Consulting to lay a groundwork of mutual trust. Then, address the problem. Developing a strong partnership with your client is essential. It creates a space where lasting solutions can be found.

Restore Faith

Faith in my ______ is the future (fill in the blank). Starting down an unpredictable path is tough. Asking a client to let go of the predictions and expectations of a project may seem unrealistic. But when a client is able to place trust or faith, in the consultant’s hands, this creates a sustainable world. In this video, Peter recommends avoiding the question, “Do you think we are making progress?” and instead asking, “What would restore your faith?”