You know the old joke: a consultant is someone who lives more than 50 miles away, says exactly what you would say, and is paid big bucks. There’s actually a little more to it, but I think you get the idea. As we walk through the 4 main types of intentional relationships, it’s time to shine the spotlight on consultants.
Let’s start at the roadmap: Relationship + Intention + (a variable Idea) = (a type of intentional relationship). In this case, the type of relationship is Consulting. The distinctive component that sets the relationship as Counsulting–the moving part–is Assessment.
Here’s what I mean by assessment: gathering some information that tells you exactly where you are. It could be a lot of things, like a tool or actual assessment like the Myers-Briggs. Or it could be a series of opinions, from the coach or from people otherwise involved in the situation. Data of some kind is what were after, meaning something that adds detail to the particular situation where the person is. Any kind of data input that is solid, helpful, and that deepens the relationship is okay to use. This is why consultants love white boards so much…they’re a great place to record all the “You are here” data and information!
If you think about it, this is what consultants do. They come in they give an opinion or assessment and then they go away. Implementation happens afterwards, outside of the consulting relationship. And once, you move past the moment of assessment, a coach would do well to move back to drawing out action plans by listening and asking powerful questions.