“Flawless Consulting,” by Peter Block, isn’t your average book. For those who desire to learn and apply the knowledge contained in it, this is a book that has the potential of breathing new life into your business and possibly even your personal life and relationships with people.
First, before describing what the book is about, let’s take a moment to define the word “consulting,” Peter Block does a wonderful job of helping us, as his readers, to understand what consulting is. Once you understand it, you see that this book is relevant to more areas than one would think, initially, when reading the title. In other words, this book isn’t just for people who have the title “Consultant” on their business card, but is even helpful in day-to-day life. And, if you have a business, large or small, well, it is just plain essential.
Ok, back to the definition..
What is Consulting??
Let’s look at a situation of mother and child. If a mother tells the child, “Go clean your room,” she isn’t acting as a consultant. She is acting as an authority, as a manager, with this directive. If the child asks his mother what he should do because he is bored and his mother responds with, “Well, honey, it might be good to clean your room,” it is a suggestion and the mother is actually acting in a consultant role rather than a manager role. So, when you look at it that way, you can see that most of our lives do have elements of consulting. What Block teatches is that any time you do not have control over whether or not the person does what you are directing, you are functioning in this consulting capacity.
Relevant Beyond the Board Room
As you can see, looking at the definition, consulting takes us into a different realm and we may start to ask ourselves how we can be more effective in our role of giving advice. This even applies to sales people in giving the advice that the client should buy their services or products. It plays into social media when we are attempting to solicit responses to our Facebook statuses. After all, none of us can really force anyone to put a LIKE on our kitten picture, can we? We don’t have control. We are functioning in a sort of consulting role, as we suggest they LIKE our page or kitten picture.
Effectiveness as a Consultant
One of the key points that Mr. Block teaches throughout the book, is trust. This is a basis for relationship whether it is a relationship with your spouse, or a business relationship. The same thing goes for sales, as well. If the client reading your Facebook status thinks that you are being dishonest with them, that are not going to continue to engage or continue to LIKE your page, let alone purchase your products or services. However, on the converse, those clients who trust you are more likely to spend more money than what they need to, because their basis is trust.
In a world where we are bombarded with the message to “Get it done!” and if possible, to get it done with quality, it is easy to see how the completion of a task is more important than any warm fuzzies. After all, the task is the most important aspect, right? Not necessarily. That is why reading this book and really letting it germinate, is so useful, because it is almost counter-intuitive to what we are taught, and yet, it is very intuitive to how we are “wired” as human beings and want to relate and engage with one another. Add to that, the hot topic of “relationship marketing” and there we have come full circle (and yes, remember that it is no longer “relationship marketing” if you are trying to fool your client and scam them.. no trust… no relationship… no sale).
Getting to Know the Man Behind the Book
On his “about page,” Peter is described as “…an author, consultant and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. His work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability and the reconciliation of community.”
The description, alone, gets one wondering what his message is, and phrases like “reconciliation of community” help us to rationalize our desire to learn from someone who seems to be so interested in people and the betterment of society.
It is no small wonder that “Flawless Consulting” is a bestseller, but it has also been called the “consultant’s bible.” Having read it personally, I can understand both of those facts from a first-hand perspective.
I first came across this book in my Master’s degree program in psychology, when studying “Consulting Psychology.” This was a very impressive choice for a college textbook and I found it relevant from a psychology approach, as well as a real-life and business relevancy. To get a hold of the book for yourself, visit FlawlessConsulting.com. There is also a Kindle version and an audio book version via amazon.com.