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Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, Third Edition Hardcover – 5 Apr 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 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. 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 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
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This should be a must read for all consultants. I am buying several copies for members of my team!
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.
The book is nicely balanced between the needs of those who supply internal consulting (whether formally, or as staff resources) and external consultants and experts. I have played both roles, and each one teaches you something you need to know in order to be a better consultant. This is the only book on consulting that I have read that captures both perspectives and roles well.
A great strength of the book is that there are extensive examples of the same issue so that you can get a good perspective, even if you don't yet have much experience as a consultant. So it is a terrific book for those who are new to consulting.
For those of us who have a few decades of consulting experience, there is still a lot to learn. I was especially helped by the extensive list of ways to diagnose what may be going wrong when the client asks questions or is inactive. I was helped even more by many ingenious responses to those situations that had never occurred to me.
This is a principled book, one that considers the needs of the client and the consultant in a fair and even-handed way. It also gives you the perspective you need to apply those principles.
I heartily agree with the emphasis on getting as much relevant client involvement as possible, to improve commitment, understanding, relationships, and the ability to implement later on.
The next time I run into a potential snag in a consulting relationship, I intend to check my thinking with this wonderful guide. I suggest you do the same. You'll need to have a copy around, so plan to buy one on Amazon.com.
For those fans of The McKinsey Way, you should read this book, too. It will facilitate your career in much more valuable and signficant ways.
I think for someone in personnel, corporate management, or a management consultant it would be an excellent addition to existing skills.
For a completely beginner though it is a bit advanced.
Block has a real insight into how the dynamics of consultancy work. I read it before I dealt with my first external client and it saved me from what would have otherwise been less than flawless consulting! As it was, it turned into a great success.
I'll be rereading it regularly.
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