Here we have empathetic tips:
If you have consulted for your firm or outside clients before, you have probably walked out of a meeting annoyed by what other people in the room did, and you wondered why they did that.
You might think that, since they brought you to fix a problem, things would be fine. But this is not always so. Consulting with other teams requires organizational and emotional nuance, which you may not possess.
As much as we hope you won’t need this advice anytime soon if you ever do, a bit of empathy for those you are working, it can help. These three tips will help you stand in your client’s shoes and deal with them from their environment if you ever need to:
1. Your point of contact may not need help.
There is a possibility that the person you want to help does not want it. Sometimes, management and the staff may not be communicating well within the company. This can make your point of contact act defensively, especially if your consulting might affect their job functions. The good intention of the manager to bring you in to help may seem like a betrayal to the staff.
Employees might sometimes think that the presence of an external party coming into their space and giving advice may mean that the management does not trust me enough.
As a consultant, you can deal with this by respecting the institutional knowledge of the team you’re helping. Strive for a collaborative relationship, not an authoritative one. Your recommendations achieve more when you have more context and communication.
2. Asking for help may be a sign of Vulnerability.
Why do teams bring in external consultants? There may be many reasons, but one, if certain, they need you to fix something they couldn’t fix. It does not matter why they could not fix the problem. The truth remains they couldn’t, and that could be painful to admit.
You do not need to discuss this but only keep it in mind when communicating with your clients. Respect the vulnerability and appreciate their trust in you.
3. Your client is accountable for the results.
As an outside party, your job is to give them all the information and resources needed. Eventually, the choice is theirs. Seeing your recommendation rejected might be hard, but do not take it personally.
If they question everything you say, it may be because they want to be entirely sure they are making the best decision. Their micromanaging may come from a good heart. It may be to follow through and get the best approach.
With all that has been said and, perhaps, none of them apply to the client that you are finding it hard to work with. Always remember that people can have bad days, hard years, or even just generally prickly dispositions. However, showing empathy and compassion can go a long way to fix things. Always avoid the impulse to judge a hard decision. Instead, always consider the good heart behind it.