When you aren’t sure exactly what the problems are, or which ones to focus on first, or which solutions to try, then you might need consulting. Consulting sessions involve working together to understand your problems, agreeing on priorities, and discussing concrete proposals for solutions. Unlike coaching, the client is open to and expects guidance and advice.
Most clients come to me unsure about how to choose a solution to their problems or struggling to focus on running one experiment at a time. They recognize the opportunity cost involved with changing how they work: if we’re doing this, then we can’t also do that—but what if that were the real priority?! This uncertainty commonly leads to inaction and to gradual worsening of the problems until reaching a crisis point that leads to sudden, unplanned, often questionable action. I would like very much to help you avoid this downward spiral.
After years of practice, it has become clear that disagreeing about solutions usually reflects more-fundamental conflicts about the problems. I believe this problem is most urgent while you see that one as most urgent, and so we each advocate for conflicting changes with equal conviction. By focusing on the problems and their possible origins, we build a shared understanding of them, we reach alignment, and then the direction seems to clarify itself. At that point, either you already know what to do or a simple suggestion from me leaves you confident in your next steps.
Consulting, Training, or Coaching?
Many companies ask for training when they need coaching, ask for coaching when they need training, and frankly most people view “consulting” with suspicion. I understand. Tim Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Work distinguishes coaching and training quite clearly:
- training focuses on increasing capacity
- coaching focuses on reducing interference
- performance = capacity − interference
I add to this:
- coaching focuses on helping you get out of your own way
- consulting focuses on solving problems together
For some clients, the difference lies only in their intentions. We schedule the work the same way, we address similar questions, but we conduct the sessions differently. And there’s no need to decide in advance whether tomorrow’s session will be coaching or consulting. In that sense, we can agree from moment to moment in which mode you’d prefer to work.
Booking a Consultation
The standard consultation is suitable for companies. Sessions start at 1 hour and the price is CAD 900. Sessions up to 1/2 day are also available. Group sessions are welcome. Click here for more details.
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