So what is a consultant?
There are as many types of consultant as there are ways of you consulting them. To get the best result, you need to define exactly what it is you need. The riddle is that sometimes you have to ask a consultant to help you work that out.
Here are some ideas of what a consultant is, not just what a consultant does.
- A fresh pair of eyes
- A source of experience, expertise, innovation and methodical approaches
- A mirror for you to reflect your own ideas
- A chance to challenge what you do now
- A conscience
- A sounding board
- A persistent spur to keep you on track
- Someone to fill the gap in your team
"Before we carry on, let's find out what's wrong!"
Whatever your specific need, be sure that both you and the consultant agree on their role and yours. To be successful you have to create a relationship with the consultant that is clear, but also flexible as needs change.
Sometimes we think of consultants as medical people. This can create a good picture of a possible relationship with them:
- They examine your current condition, then diagnose your problem
- They talk to you about what is important to be treated
- They prescribe helpful drugs or even surgery
- They make sure that the treatment is carried out
- They monitor progress, and modify the treatment as it progresses
- They make sure that you understand what happens next, and that you continue to improve into the future.
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