If you are a consultant working with a group, this 6-part series covers 18 best practices for facilitating learning and engagement during a consultation session. To find the whole list once the series is complete, search “process leadership skills” in my blog.
- Action idea list: Throughout the consultation, keep a list of potential actions. Return to this action idea list toward the end when it’s time to decide on next steps. Doing this will help you not move prematurely into planning, while saving important ideas for the appropriate time.
- Passing the frog: At the end of any content presentation, I like throw a small stuffed frog from person to person. When tossed the frog, each person can make a comment on something that stood out to them from the presentation: a question, an idea, a realization. I find that this activity helps people summarize their learnings.
- Finalize with a plan: If you end a consulting session without at least a basic implementation plan, I can almost guarantee you that nothing will happen. You need to end a consultation by helping them design a plan. As you do that, make sure they consider: relationships, processes, environments. Also help them anticipate and remove obstacles. They should leave with clarity on what their next steps are and what the ongoing process will look like.
After this series, covering 18 skills that can be used during a consultation, you have a lot of tools in your toolkit. But remember that these consulting skills need to be fitted into a larger system– that’s critical. That frame consists of building a relationship and helping them decide for change on the front end… and on the back end it consists of following through on a plan for ongoing implementation and growth.