Stories of the Workplace


Issue: January 30, 2016

14 Ways Clients Resist to Consultants’ Ideas and How to Handle Them

Oftentimes, it is a challenge to deal with the comments from clients such as “We’ve always done it this way”, or “No, that won’t work here in this organization”.  Of course, the obvious advice is “Don’t take it personally”.  In reality, is that easy to do?  No, it may not be!  Consequently, to aid you in this client-consultant conversation, here are some actionable tips to help you navigate the conversation resistance.   Read more

Dealing with Outside Consultants on Projects

In working environment, setting expectations with all team members is the norm.  Between the annual performance reviews, the twice-annual 360 feedback surveys with your peers, and the one-on-one meetings with your manager, it is nearly impossible to work through your job without reviewing expectations, goals and achievements.   But what about external resources, including vendors, contractors, freelancers and consultants?  Does your organization have a process to handle frequent, consistent, measurable communication with external resources?  Furthermore, with a visible project, communication with team members including consultants, can improve the communication process and business results.  Read more…

Video:  Managing a Consultant

You realized that your business needs some specialized support and talent.  You got recommendations from other entrepreneurs or businesses such as yourself.  You contacted multiple agencies to provide likely, skilled candidates for the consulting positions.  You interviewed the candidates using the list of questions provided by the HR department, your lawyer or based upon a list found online.

Consequently, you made the offer(s) and you received acceptance.  The consultant(s) are now working for you – whether onsite or remote.  Now what?  Where is the guidebook that outlines what steps you need to take to manage the expectations for the consultant(s) you just hired?  This video may point you in the right direction to get started to manage this critical internal relationship and the expected results.  Read more

Rules to Better Software Consultants Dealing with Clients

Does your organization or small business have any guidelines for communicating and measuring communications and projects with clients?  Where are those expectations documented?  Where do you start?   This article focuses on several (actually 39+) rules for dealing with your clients.   Below is a list of 3 of my favorite rules from this article:

  1.  Rule 21:    Do You Ask the Two Most Important Questions at the Beginning of the Meeting?
  2.  Rule #11:  Do You Know to Book Your Next Appointment Before You Leave the Client?
  3.  Rule #40:  Do you send a “For the Record” Email When You Disagree

Some rules may not apply to your business, but some are universal.  Read more

How Consultants Can Deal with the Imposter Syndrome

According to a clinical psychologist Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, “The imposter syndrome” is a “phenomenon in which successful people fail to appreciate their own abilities” and attribute that their past achievements to something other than their hard-earned skills and knowledge – such as luck.   Consultants are most critical and the most expectant of themselves and their abilities.  Examples include:

  1. Will my clients realize that I am “portraying” confidence, but I am actually having butterflies during this presentation?
  2. Am I good enough to provide this knowledge / skill / service?
  3. Will the client suspect this is only my 5th [insert #] consulting project?

Consequently, being a Consultant requires accountability, tenacity and focus.   Read more


Difficult Conversations with Your Boss

Is every meeting with your manager calm, civil and productive? Maybe a little preparation would help.