We are in a business where mistakes come easy and often. Even the best plans, for the right people backfire because they don’t see the world as we do. The job of a functional consultant is to analyse the clients situation and offer the best alternative we know. Unfortunately, the alternative is not always enthusiastically received.
So how do we handle that? My preference is to tell the client they are dead wrong and that my answer makes the most sense, since I’m the expert. But if I went my way, the client would put me on the highway, and in short order I’d have no clients. I’ve never take a course in psychology, but I know that people don’t want to hear bad news in a brunt fashion. We should handle everything, right or wrong, in a professional manner. Smiles forever glued to our faces. We are Pro/Con factories, offering our advice in the most leading way can. If we do it right, our clients gain. If we do it wrong, our clients remain in the same old bad habits.
The truth is that you and I are only offering advice, and advice is used or ignored based upon many factors that are both logical and illogical. We can control the advice we give and it darn well should be the best possible advice for the client based on our experience. But the acceptance or rejection of that advice is never a reflection of the validity of our experience. Before you ever present anything to the client, review it yourself and trust your instincts that you have put together the best possible answer based on the knowledge you have.
By choosing to be a consultant, especially a functional one, we have placed ourselves in a very conspicuous place for or clients to second-guess our advice. Do your homework, get ahead of your client, interact with as many others in your specialty as you can. Your advice is never wrong, but it may not be what the client chooses at the time.
Enter in all ye who seek to find within
As the plaque said on the last door