Adult 610, Reflection one

Hair Salon

When I saw Artis at a work function a few weeks before work started, I told him I was nervous about the class because I didn’t do any consulting. He told me, “I bet you do and don’t even know it.” As I was reading Brock’s book, I realized that is the absolute truth. In HR, because you are subject matter experts for your department, you’re consulting all the time, explaining policy or helping make important decisions (hiring, employee relations, etc.) based on your knowledge and interpretation of policies.

I know Susan kept having issues with the word “flawless” in the title of our textbook, but after having read his explanation in chapter three, it makes much more sense. Everyone has the potential to be a flawless consultant, it’s a series of steps. You have to navigate the situation–it’s almost intuitive. The second chapter of Schein helped this click even more with me, where he talks about the psychodynamic issues of consulting. Understanding the helping relationship between a consultant and a client–creating a safe environment, accepting one’s role, both parties understanding the reality–can lead to a much stronger relationship.

Of course not all the outcomes will be flawless. Block (and Schein, for that matter) isn’t saying this at all–there can be all kinds of factors to lead to something not working out. What he says is that if you understand how to intuitively act and react as a consultant, interpreting situations, you can consult flawlessly.

I don’t think I would be a model of flawless consulting right now except in the best situations, as I do not have the skills to read people or remove emotions. I take things personally and generally have very strong opinions that I can’t seem to keep under control, but I feel a bit better knowing there are ways I can improve my consulting skills. I’m looking forward to our project this semester and using what we’re learning!

Photo of hair salon–a type of consulting!–from flickr’s The Commons.


One thought on “Adult 610, Reflection one

  1. Okay — I can TOTALLY see having a problem with the word “flawless” in the title of Block’s book. Now you are right, he does make it about a process versus a “consulting skill set” but having been in the professional position of consulting for quite a while now, I can tell you. it is rarely flawless! It is still very easy to take something personally and to misread a situation. I like Schein’s perspective — that we are really trying to be good helpers. The thing we have to remember is that being a good helper does not mean always agreeing with the client, but trying to help the client see the things they don’t see. And sometimes, as hard as we try, it just doesn’t happen.


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