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Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used Hardcover – 5 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 3rd Edition edition (5 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470620749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470620748
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2.4 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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 partnership—which 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. Strickl and 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 organizations—issues 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 "My company uses this book as our primary guide to consultant skills. Interestingly, our most experienced consultants value the insights from Flawless Consulting the most. It has made a big difference in how we think about and work with clients." — TØnnes Ingebrigtsen , CEO, mnemonic as

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J.Y VINE VOICE on 26 Aug 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first started this book, it seemed to be very padded. Essentially I felt like what I was reading was a lot of fluff about what a consultant is and does. It felt very much like a manual on how to blag yourself into a job.

However with later chapters, I was completely convinced that the writer not only believes with every ounce of their body what they say, but also practices what they preach. The advice has practical use at many levels of an organisation and it really helps to read about tactics and strategies toward becoming a good consultant from somebody that has successfully seen their advice acted upon many times, as well as highlighting times where their expertise has sometimes failed and helping us avoid those pitfalls.

Essentially we are all consultants, in whatever job we are in. I feel more confident when dealing with co-workers and appreciate that the greatest skill of a consultant is finding the points where we as humans are falliable, and addressing those concerns whilst ensuring that those parties with a stake in a project are adequately satisfied with the implementation. Regardless of your status, I thoroughly recommend this book if you simply wish to work better and more efficiently with your colleagues. We are not granted all this knowledge innately, and whilst some of the solutions sound simple, it can be hard to see the solution when placed into a particular situation. This book at least ensures you are adequately prepared for dealing with at least some of the unknown.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By zenadox on 27 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The only small critisim I would give this book is that it is a little long winded in parts, and some lengthy paragraphs could be be summarised by bullet points or diagrams so you can map them easier in your mind an remember the points.

On the positive side, the book is jam packed with information. Honestly, you would have to read it several times to take it all in, and defintely have to make notes as you go long. You almost need a pocket version to remember the wide range of areas covered from the steps you go through as a consultant life cycle to the reactions from the client.

I like the parts on how to difuse situations and understanding what clients really mean when they say certain phrases. Also, the book highlights the importance of reading body language. There are so many other interesting topics covered including how to structure the agreements with clients and when to pull out.

I would recommend the book for sure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Pittam VINE VOICE on 9 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Peter Block first wrote this classic on the business of consulation over three decades ago, and has revised and updated this edition thoroughly for re-release. It takes us through the ins and outs of business consultancy and how to do it, from the beginning with definitions, through the various issues one is likely to face, including resistance, diagnosis, feedback and implementation.

I like this book because it is so clear and specific. It gives plainly-written examples without the need for stupid, muddly jargon. It makes a lot of the business books I've read come across as something out of a comedy show.

Although the book was written thirty years ago this edition contains all the latest thinking on the subject matter, tells you how to look at your client's problems, how to talk to them about it and what not to promise. The book itself is of good physical quality, suitable for leafing through again and again and the pictures are hilarious.

A must have for the business consultant, in my view.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LJD on 23 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After decades years in the consultancy business, it is wonderful to find this compilation of knowledge and techniques. Experienced consultants will find that Block has taken lots of things they know viscerally, and set it all down on paper. He backs up his theories with easy-to-follow flowcharts, checklists, and even cartoons.

Block strikes a really good balance between theory and execution. In fact, there is a lot of both.

This book has over 300 pages and is packed with information. The topics include
1. Dealing with resistance
2. Getting the data, and
3. Managing the feedback meeting.

(In response to a comment written by one previous reviewer here, this book at no stage claims to be about web consultancy; I think)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pepper #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jun 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have dipped in and out of this wonderful book countless times and each time I get something new from it. Apart from, as the title suggests, it being a consultancy guide it is also a great book for any manager to have in their toolkit. Although essentially text, the book is peppered with some really amusing drawings as well as checklists etc. to support the messages that are being conveyed.

What I like about the book it that it has no pomposity at all and is geared to facilitating the consultant to support the client in arriving at their own solution. Peter Block is open about his own vulnerabilities and hang ups too. The focus of the book is about selling your expertise (less in financial and more in credibility terms).It goes on to deal with using your expertise, but, with a great insight into the human aspects of that, such as building credibility, overcoming resistance, dealing with awkward (or even flirtatious!) clients, recognising bias and learning over teaching etc. There are numerous examples of situations and outcomes in the book.

This book is clearly written by a titan of management/consulting, but, also someone whose feet are firmly grounded and who applies his insight into the practical and human aspects of managing consultancy. A really, really good book. Recommended.
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