Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used 3rd Edition by Peter Block, ISBN-13: 978-0470620748


Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used 3rd Edition by Peter Block, ISBN-13: 978-0470620748

[PDF eBook eTextbook]

  • Publisher: ‎ Pfeiffer; 3rd edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 352 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0470620749
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0470620748

When the landmark best-seller Flawless Consulting was first published more than three decades ago, it was quickly adopted as the “consultant’s bible.” With his legendary warmth and passion, Peter Block explained how to deal effectively with clients, peers, and others. The book continues to speak to people in a support function inside organizations as well as to external consultants.

This thoroughly revised and updated third edition of Peter Block’s groundbreaking book explores the latest thinking on consultation. It includes new insights about how we can organize our consulting around discovering the strengths, positive examples, and gifts of the client organization or community. The book remains a practical and specific guide for anyone who needs to develop a capacity for deeper relatedness and partnership—which means it is for all who wish to make a real difference in the world.

This new edition covers the consulting challenges that have arisen from the way we routinely communicate electronically and live in the virtual world. Block suggests ways to overcome the distancing and isolating effects inherent in electronic connects. The book also includes practical guidance on how to ask better questions, gives suggestions for dealing with difficult clients, and contains expanded guidelines on more engaging forms of implementation.

Flawless Consulting includes two new examples, taken from health care and educational reform efforts, to show how consulting skills can be useful (and often transformative) in a broader context. These illustrative examples point the way for achieving changes for leadership in business, government, religion, human services, and more.

Like the first two editions, Flawless Consulting affirms the notion that authentic behavior and personal relationships are the key to technical and business success. By demonstrating their ability to be truly authentic at each step in the process, consultants can aim toward creating workplaces that are more collaborative and ultimately more successful.

Table of Contents:

What’s New? xiii

Acknowledgments xxi

1 A Consultant by Any Other Name 1

Some Definitions and Distinctions 2

Consulting Skills Preview 6

The Promise of Flawless Consultation 9

2 Techniques are Not Enough 13

Beyond Content 14

The Consultant’s Assumptions 17

The Consultant’s Goals 19

Developing Client Commitment––A Secondary Goal of Each Consulting Act 21

Roles Consultants Choose 22

Collaboration and the Fear of Holding Hands 27

Staging the Client’s Involvement, Step by Step 29

3 Flawless Consulting 37

Being Authentic 37

Completing the Requirements of Each Phase 40

Results 46

Accountability 47

The Right to Fail 49

4 Contracting Overview 51

Contracting: The Concept and the Skill 52

Elements of a Contract 57

Ground Rules for Contracting 65

5 The Contracting Meeting 67

Who is the Client? 68

Navigating the Contracting Meeting 70

When You Get Stuck 87

The Problem with Saying No 95

Contracting Checkpoint 96

Selling Your Services: Good Selling is Good Contracting 98

The Meeting as a Model of How You Work 102

Closing the Contracting Meeting 103

After the Contracting Meeting 104

6 The Agonies of Contracting 107

Dealing with Low Motivation 107

Ceaseless Negotiation: The Shifting Tide of Your Role 109

Some Other Specific Agonies 113

The Virtual World 115

7 The Internal Consultant 121

Important Differences Between Internal and External Consultants 122

Triangles and Rectangles 124

8 Understanding Resistance 129

The Faces of Resistance 130

What are Clients Resisting When They are Resisting Us? 138

Underlying Concerns 140

Sometimes it is Not Resistance 143

The Fear and the Wish 143

Ogres and Angels 147

. . . and Heroics 148

9 Dealing with Resistance 149

Three Steps for Handling Resistance 151

Don’t Take it Personally 155

Good-Faith Responses 156

Consulting with a Stone 157

10 From Diagnosis to Discovery 159

It is Still the Relationship That Counts 160

The Call to Action 163

The Problem is Not the Problem 167

How the Problem is Being Managed 170

Flawless Discovery 172

11 Whole-System Discovery 175

Third-Party Consulting 176

Taking a Whole-System Approach 178

Your Choice 179

Putting Whole-System Discovery to Work 180

The Payoff 182

12 Discovering Gifts, Capacities, and Possibilities 183

When All Else Fails 185

The Power of Positive Deviance 186

The Implications of Positive Deviance for Consulting 189

An Example of What is Working 190

13 Get the Picture 201

The Steps in Getting the Picture 202

A Word About Bias 206

Assessing How the Situation is Being Managed 207

The Discovery Interview 210

Levels of Analysis 211

Your Experience as Data 214

14 Preparing for Feedback 217

A Clear Picture May Be Enough 217

Condensing the Data 218

Some Do’s and Don’ts 219

Language in Giving the Picture 221

Presenting the Picture . . . As Courtroom Drama 223

Support and Confront 225

15 Managing the Meeting for Action 229

How to Present the Picture 230

Structuring the Meeting 231

The Meeting for Action, Step by Step 233

A Recap 241

Resistance in the Meeting 242

When Group Members are at Odds Among Themselves 244

Modeling the Meeting 246

16 Implementation 249

Choosing Engagement over Installation 250

Deciding Doesn’t Get it Done 251

The Limits of Installation 252

Betting on Engagement 258

17 The Elements of Engagement 261

The Meeting is the Message 262

Eight Ways to Engage 263

The Point 275

18 Teacher as Consultant 279

The Story 280

Assumptions About Motivating Students 281

The Reality 282

Taking a Consultant’s Stance 283

The Trip to Washington, D.C. 293

The Choice in the Matter 296

19 The Heart of the Matter 299

Choosing Learning over Teaching 300

Learning as a Social Adventure 302

The Struggle is the Solution 303

The Question is More Important Than the Answer 304

Beyond How 305

Insight Resides in Moments of Tension 307

Capacities Bear More Fruit Than Deficiencies 309

We are Responsible for One Another’s Learning 311

Culture Changes in the Moment 312

If Change is So Wonderful, Why Don’t You Go First? 313

The Final Question is One of Faith 315

Online Appendix: Handy Checklists You Can Use 317

Further Reading 319

About the Author 323

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