I will show you six time-tested, can’t miss, strategies for dominating any discussion on creativity.
However, I won’t be showing them in this post because this post is actually part of a study I’m doing about attracting more blog traffic using absurd titles constructed using a simple formula.
So I hope you will excuse my involving you in this experiment, but it’s for a good cause. I’d like to develop a search filter that filters these things out.
I’ll try to remember to post the strategies sometime. I actually have some ideas. But, proven strategies shouldn’t be hard to find, right? If they exist?
Be careful about believing what you read.
So now it’s time for me to change course. Going forward, my primary focus will be teaching consulting skills. I’ll be developing training resources to help other people strengthen their own skills. This is something I truly enjoy doing and I’m headed back that way. Whether this blog plays a role or not remains to be seen. But I have crossed the Rubicon (again).
Clients use consultants for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they seek specialized expertise that is not readily available in house. Sometimes, they prefer to work with an external resource to help maintain confidentiality and prevent internal leaks or rumors. Sometimes, they use consultants to serve as catalysts for fresh thinking or to gain a measure of objectivity (or at least the appearance of objectivity).
Whatever the reason, every consultant will eventually face the necessity of expressing a contrary viewpoint. Now, if that’s why they hired you, then well and good. But, if not, then it’s important to learn how to express an opposing opinion in a positive way.
Here are some simple examples of how to express a contrary opinion in a thoughtful, professional way. The first one isn’t very provocative, it simply introduces another perspective. The second one is more of a challenge, but it can be softened slightly by the use of we rather than you. The third one is a forthright assertion that you disagree, feel compelled to say so, yet are nonetheless willing to move forward.
- “I understand what you are saying. Now, here is another way to look at it…”
- “Have you considered the possible consequences of this course of action?”
- “I value our relationship and I will assist you with whatever course of action you choose, but I am professionally bound to give you my honest opinion on this.”
In one form or another, I’ve spent most of my career doing consulting. Consulting is integral to my role as a systems engineer. In fact, I still kick off my systems engineering course with a lecture on consulting methods.
Consulting is also an important part of my role in marketing and sales as I offer guidance to my customers on the design of systems to best meet their business goals. And, for a number of years, I ran my own consulting company focused on the design and development of graduate engineering programs having a strong emphasis on leadership and professional development.
Consulting has been an inherent part of just about everything I’ve done professionally, and I suspect that may be the case with many of you as well. I’m in the process now of developing a course just on consulting. I don’t know how much interest there will be. Some, I hope.