As a consultant I am called upon as an expert to provide technical and professional guidance and recommendations. The knowledge and skills gained over 26 years of professional project management makes me qualified to do the job. Certain certifications achieved along the way validate this particular skill set. However, the most important part of consulting is not the benchmark studies, the maturity assessment, or the 40-page executive report. It’s the counseling, coaching, and mentoring that I provide along the way. I don’t just consult with my clients, I help them.
“Consultant” is not just a title and it’s actually not the title I prefer. I would prefer to be called “Helper.” My co-worker actually has this as his title in his LinkedIn profile. “Helper” says to our clients that we are here to make you successful. The posture of a helper is one that is humble and empathetic to the needs of the client. As a project manager or project management consultant it’s more than just creating a project plan. It’s asking “How can I help you today?” and “What is coming up next week” or most importantly “How can I/we help you be successful?”
Everyone loves to hear that they are the gold standard and the best at everything. As a consultant, be creative and especially authentic when you do this. Focus on the action you want them to take with your recommendation. Show them or better yet, offer to help them implement.
Is it in your job description to help someone with a flat tire? No, but you could and certainly should if you are capable, because you have the experience and knowledge. If you are a consultant, make it a point to go beyond the creative advice and recommendations and help the client implement. If you are a client, listen carefully to the consultants’ recommendations. And for everyone, be more helpful. Stop and ask the question “How can I help you today?”
If you want to learn more about changing your mindset from “consultant” to “helper,” get in touch with me today. I’d love to carry on the conversation: firstname.lastname@example.org