The alchemy between the Consultant and the Customer LISTEN FIRST, TALK LATER!
An inquisitive and positive approach towards the contact: the consultant listens, does not impose a method or a bias without having really heard the customer expressing the need – which the consultant can often help to reformulate and/or formalize.
From the outset, the challenge for the consultant is to facilitate expression.
Analyzing and considering a different frame of reference every time and providing a synthesis
Deeper reflection starts with an analysis process: in this second phase, the consultant’s challenge is to use all the information provided without being critical, while helping the customer to provide a structure and coherence, which will be precious for moving forward in a process of change...
Analyzing their own operations enables customers to find the way forward to reach the goals they have set for themselves. It is both challenging and motivating, but is also destabilizing and troubling. The challenge for the consultant is to work within a different frame of reference to provide positive support and to enable customers to better mobilize their energy. Ultimately, it is a matter of developing the necessary agility to adjust permanently to changes in the environment..
Providing a different perspective for building together
During decision-making and the implementation of more operational action, customers being accompanied often feel more relaxed when they identify with their daily "ecosystem", while the new challenge for consultants is not to impose their own vision and to support customers in their thinking.
The consultant’s logic is always one of co-construction: nothing is imposed, everything is built in jointly with the customers. Consultants must be able to work with their customers, help them to design projects, enable the different actors to work together and mobilize them to take part in a working process
Consultants often have to work outside their habitual "comfort zone".
Becoming a consultant requires changing the way you think about and understand your job – the position of consultant implies not only expertise, but also the ability to understand issues, to absorb them and to apply an appropriate methodology to respond to them. The capitalization of knowledge is essential, since knowledge is the consultant's raw material.
Finally, being a consultant also means listening to and eliminating the stereotypes of the role, as well as understanding the skills and knowledge that are really needed to build a relationship of trust with the customer.