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Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used Hardcover – Mar 15 2011
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From the Inside Flap
When the landmark best-seller Flawless Consulting was first published more than three decades ago, it was quickly adopted as the "consultant's bible." With his legendary warmth and passion, Peter Block explained how to deal effectively with clients, peers, and others. The book continues to speak to people in a support function inside organizations as well as to external consultants.
This thoroughly revised and updated third edition of Peter Block's groundbreaking book explores the latest thinking on consultation. It includes new insights about how we can organize our consulting around discovering the strengths, positive examples, and gifts of the client organization or community. The book remains a practical and specific guide for anyone who needs to develop a capacity for deeper relatedness and partnershipwhich means it is for all who wish to make a real difference in the world.
This new edition covers the consulting challenges that have arisen from the way we routinely communicate electronically and live in the virtual world. Block suggests ways to overcome the distancing and isolating effects inherent in electronic connects. The book also includes practical guidance on how to ask better questions, gives suggestions for dealing with difficult clients, and contains expanded guidelines on more engaging forms of implementation.
Flawless Consulting includes two new examples, taken from health care and educational reform efforts, to show how consulting skills can be useful (and often transformative) in a broader context. These illustrative examples point the way for achieving changes for leadership in business, government, religion, human services, and more.
Like the first two editions, Flawless Consulting affirms the notion that authentic behavior and personal relationships are the key to technical and business success. By demonstrating their ability to be truly authentic at each step in the process, consultants can aim toward creating workplaces that are more collaborative and ultimately more successful.
From the Back Cover
Praise for the third edition of FLAWLESS CONSULTING
"Consulting at its best is about action and interaction, relationships and results. In a highly readable guide that is both inspirational and practical, Peter Block leads consultant and client together through a proven approach to realize their future."
SAMUEL R. STRICKLAND chief financial and administrative officer, Booz Allen Hamilton
"Surpasses the high standards of relevance, clarity, and wisdom characteristic of previous versions.... Whether one's consulting experience spans five years or fifty, there is a great deal in this new edition to prompt us to reflect on our own practice and to discuss with colleagues."
ROGER HARRISON independent consultant and author of Consultant's Journey: A Dance of Work and Spirit and The Collected Papers of Roger Harrison
"Peter Block has written a masterful third edition of his masterpiece, Flawless Consulting. Important additions to the third edition are the strength-based strategies that many are beginning to use... in solving seemingly intractable problems in health care and other industries. They are featured in a new Chapter Twelve and form a common thread that runs through this entire path-breaking book."
JON C. LLOYD, MD, FACS senior associate, Positive Deviance Initiative; clinical advisor, Plexus Institute
"Peter's masterwork, Flawless Consulting, has been my go-to guide since the first edition.... Flawless Consulting is not just a practical, useful, and inviting book for practitioners. It's all those things, but it's also a book about some of the most vexing issues we face when consulting to organizationsissues of resistance, truth, doubt, vulnerability, and accountability. If you find yourself giving advice to people making choices, then this book is a must-have for you. Buy it today, use it tomorrow."
JIM KOUZES award-winning coauthor of the best-selling The Leadership Challenge and The Truth About Leadership, and Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
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Top Customer Reviews
But you don't buy this book because you want to learn everything there is in consulting (because this book implies you probably already are a consultant). You buy this book because it contains everything you SHOULD know and puts structure around it.
These are the foundations. Make sure you understand them well and be on your way!
Also, there is a really good focus on your relationship with your client, which is, as an engineer, something that you don't hear about in school (but experience on the field).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have had a copy of this book in all its iterations. I use the current edition in a course I teach. The feedback from the students is that this "soft" stuff is far more useful to them than the technical part of the class--because they realize that most of the obstacles to their work involve people more than actual technical problems.
Some people dismiss this book because it is so "soft." But it is really filled with excellent advice (even scripting conversations for you). And, more importantly, it asks you to confront your own sense of "victimhood." People have choices. You have choices. Your client (or boss) has choices. Make yours. Let your boss make hers (his). And then do the best you can. This sounds simple. But just try it sometime. You will feel like the bravest person you can imagine--and you will be just that.
And once you have absorbed that most important lesson, all the rest of the book will fall into place for you. And Block is an engaging writer. You will enjoy the journey.
I can't recommend this book enough.
I was expecting a book with tips and tricks for being an effective consultant - along with some cautionary tales and advice from the trenches.
This book does not provide the information in a very digestable format. It is very nuts and bolts. Do this, do that, don't do this, do that... with almost zero stories from the field to teach the lessons of the book. There is good information here... but it is a bear to get through it.
The focus of this book is on how authenticity can help you do a better job, and win the respect as well as loyalty of your clients. The consulting process recommended by Peter requires patience (consulting is a process and not an overnight solution, the consultant is not the doctor but a partner, and the client is not an observer but a participant), and require that consultants have the courage to not only educate the client, but to turn down clients.
It may seem a bit idealistic in the real world and not always applicable - I know this because not every consulting company is going to be authentic. Consultants may be coerced to meet sales targets, make quick profits, or they may be oversold (or undersold) by the sales team (in some consulting firms, the principals do not do the sales & contracting - they deliver after the contract is signed. The sales and contracting is done by a different team).
Nevertheless, the principles and values, espoused by Peter is something I personally share.
The content is presented in an easy to read delivery. Templates can be downloaded through the author's website.
Block does a great job warning about crossing the line from consultant to employee when dealing with clients as well as how to deal with resistance. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to get into the consulting industry or for seasoned pros who want another perspective as a way to keep their sword sharp!