Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used

Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used

Hardback

By (author) Peter Block

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 370 pages
  • Dimensions: 185mm x 236mm x 33mm | 703g
  • Publication date: 5 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Chichester
  • ISBN 10: 0470620749
  • ISBN 13: 9780470620748
  • Edition: 3, Revised
  • Edition statement: 3rd Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 30,789

Product description

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. Praise for the third edition of Flawless Consulting: "Consulting at its best is about action and interaction, relationships and results. In a highly readable guide that is both inspirational and practical, Peter Block leads consultant and client together through a proven approach to realize their future." -- Samuel R. Strickland chief financial and administrative officer, Booz Allen Hamilton "Surpasses the high standards of relevance, clarity, and wisdom characteristic of previous versions...Whether one's consulting experience spans five years or fifty, there is a great deal in this new edition to prompt us to reflect on our own practice and to discuss with colleagues." -- Roger Harrison independent consultant and author of Consultant's Journey: A Dance of Work and Spirit and The Collected Papers of Roger Harrison "Peter Block has written a masterful third edition of his masterpiece, Flawless Consulting . Important additions to the third edition are the strength-based strategies that many are beginning to use ...in solving seemingly intractable problems in health care and other industries. They are featured in a new Chapter Twelve and form a common thread that runs through this entire path-breaking book." -- Jon C. Lloyd , MD, FACS senior associate, Positive Deviance Initiative; clinical advisor, Plexus Institute "Peter's masterwork, Flawless Consulting , has been my go-to guide since the first edition...Flawless Consulting is not just a practical, useful, and inviting book for practitioners. It's all those things, but it's also a book about some of the most vexing issues we face when consulting to organizations--issues of resistance, truth, doubt, vulnerability, and accountability. If you find yourself giving advice to people making choices, then this book is a must-have for you. Buy it today, use it tomorrow." -- Jim Kouzes award-winning coauthor of the best-selling The Leadership Challenge and The Truth About Leadership , and Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership , Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University "My company uses this book as our primary guide to consultant skills. Interestingly, our most experienced consultants value the insights from Flawless Consulting the most. It has made a big difference in how we think about and work with clients." -- TOnnes Ingebrigtsen , CEO, mnemonic as

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Author information

Peter Block is an author and consultant whose work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community. He is the author of several best-selling books, including the first two editions of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, Community, and The Empowered Manager. He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers his personally designed workshops that help to build the skills outlined in his books.

Back cover copy

Praise for the third edition of "Flawless Consulting""Consulting at its best is about action and interaction, relationships and results. In a highly readable guide that is both inspirational and practical, Peter Block leads consultant and client together through a proven approach to realize their future."--Samuel R. Strickl and chief financial and administrative officer, Booz Allen Hamilton"Surpasses the high standards of relevance, clarity, and wisdom characteristic of previous versions. . . . Whether one's consulting experience spans five years or fifty, there is a great deal in this new edition to prompt us to reflect on our own practice and to discuss with colleagues."--Roger Harrison, independent consultant and author of Consultant's Journey: A Dance of Work and Spirit and The Collected Papers of Roger Harrison"Peter Block has written a masterful third edition of his masterpiece, Flawless Consulting. Important additions to the third edition are the strength-based strategies that many are beginning to use . . . in solving seemingly intractable problems in health care and other industries. They are featured in a new Chapter Twelve and form a common thread that runs through this entire path-breaking book."--Jon C. Lloyd, MD, FACS senior associate, Positive Deviance Initiative; clinical advisor, Plexus Institute"Peter's masterwork, Flawless Consulting, has been my go-to guide since the first edition. . . . "Flawless Consulting" is not just a practical, useful, and inviting book for practitioners. It's all those things, but it's also a book about some of the most vexing issues we face when consulting to organizations--issues of resistance, truth, doubt, vulnerability, and accountability. If you find yourself giving advice to people making choices, then this book is a must-have for you. Buy it today, use it tomorrow."--Jim Kouzes, award-winning coauthor of the best-selling "The Leadership Challenge" and "The Truth About Leadership," and Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University"My company uses this book as our primary guide to consultant skills. Interestingly, our most experienced consultants value the insights from Flawless Consulting the most. It has made a big difference in how we think about and work with clients."--Tonnes Ingebrigtsen, CEO, mnemonic as

Flap copy

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