Peter Block’s “Flawless Consulting Second Edition” is an outstanding book and I recommend it for anybody who is ever asked for advice. Consulting skills are not limited to people with a consultant title but anybody who helps others but has no authority over the outcome of their advice. Leaders, project managers, church elders, event planners, and many others will find benefit in this book.
I bought this book because I am an internal consultant. I had a coach challenge me to define my role as a consultant. I was not able to do so in a way that satisfied me. This book helped me tremendously to be purposeful in all of my consulting work.
Block defines the roles and needs for both consultant and client. He provides the thinking behind the business of each phase in consulting. The definition and encouragement of how to be authentic are very actionable. The book also highlights the differences between external and internal consulting.
Some stand out chapters cover:
- Contracting with a client (this is not just a formal & legal contract but a relationship contract)
- Understanding, recognizing, and dealing with resistance
- Obtaining data
- Engagement thinking and tools
”Flawless Consulting” has many elements consistent with Lean thinking such as whole system engagement, being a learning organization instead of only focusing on teaching, and moving away from just engineering to include the social side of change.
I really like the wide margins in the book to be able to write my notes and thoughts. A good sign that I get something from a book is the amount of pencil marks inside of it. Practically every other page has some notation from my pencil!
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