- 2 - SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Survival Skills Breakfast GSW 1998 A.What does it mean to be a Gemini Consultant? B.Building Client Relationships C.Consulting Guard D.Road Warrior Tips
A.So what does it mean to be a Gemini Consultant? Excerpts from the UK “New Hires” Group
- 4 - SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential How is consulting different to “line management”? Management by influence and persuasion not through direct control: –Leading from behind Expectation of thought leadership to take clients to new and better planes You hold up a mirror to your clients and reflect back objectively what was said and done rather than tell them what they did wrong and direct them differently: –Facilitate behaviour change Can-do, positive culture, rather than full of reasons why something can’t be done: –It’s OK to fail, not OK not to try It’s a more open and supportive environment –It’s not OK to fail if you haven’t asked for and made use of help Budget are project specific not function specific and are manpower/deliverable driven: –Profitability is measured/controlled only at the highest level –Income statements are impacted by a much smaller set of variables Very little support of infrastructure other than production facilities - you get yourself to the right place at the right time without the aid of a secretary: –Personal accountability Very little personal space - you operate in someone else’s environment all the time –No personal desk in the London office –We are typically guests in the client’s “house” You aren’t, and shouldn’t be, running the business - always bear this in mind
- 5 - SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential How is consulting with Gemini different to consulting with someone else? Success comes through teamwork, rather than through individual efforts: –Heroes are not encouraged –Not asking for help is a crime –We are not expert consultants –Much joint working with client –We frequently lead from behind Primary loyalty and affiliation is to the project, then to an office or GMT, rather than to a group or department: –Multi-disciplinary outlook established –Networking through GMT’s, CoE’s, Disciplines and POA Working through/in self-reliant and self-managed teams: –The team is the first line of resort Measurement of individuals is on delivery and behaviour within the values, rather than on utilisation or personal billing Emphasis is on role rather than rank: –Where hierarchy exists it is for differentiation of role and clarity for the client Individuals are encouraged to pursue roles at which they can excel, rather than be forced to be jack-of-all-trades: –Separation of selling from delivery from administration roles
- 6 - SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential So what does it mean to be a Gemini consultant? A Gemini consultant is P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. O S I T I V E P nergetic rofessional bjective ympathetic nformed eamy nspiring isible
- 7 - SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential rofessional Maintain high standard of integrity: –Influence with integrity Only promise what you can deliver and deliver what you promise Be well organised and look well organised: –Maintain documentation –Notify meeting owners if unable to attend - be punctual Do not allow yourself to have a bad day in front of the client Do not gossip or character-assassinate: –Treat everyone with respect Be consistent: –Core skills application –Coaching and feedback Maintain high standards in all your work: –Treat client documents as reference documents –Document standards, spelling, grammar –return borrowed items promptly –Maintain clean work area –Prepresent with new drafts when appropriate for builds But above all, be human. P
- 8 - SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Use facts and data: –Data driven conclusions –The “answer” may not be what the client wants to hear - be prepared to challenge the client Try to see and evaluate a situation from all sides Try to get the client to see the situation from different sides: –Seek to understand before seeking to be understood Remember you have 2 ears and 1 mouth - use them in that ratio: –Become a good active listener Do not be tempted to join in department or people bashing Try not to react emotionally: –If you do, make sure it is appropriate and controlled bjective O
- 9 - SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Be a good active listener: –Be open to listening Be attentive to and interested in other’s ideas, activities and opinions: –Use discretion and judgment Understand why the client takes certain positions: –Ask questions, seek input and view points –Make sure you’ve taken the emotional and political dimensions into account –Respect the client’s culture –Develop empathy Aim to do something “important” for the client or “workwith”: –Know where they are coming from Understand and respect that others have different life experiences and therefore see things accordingly and react to them differently Be sensitive to colleagues’ positions and expectations Ensure you don’t go native Develop your relationship with your client at whatever level. ympathetic S
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Know the client’s business and situation: –Industry, competitors, strategy –Find out - briefing packs, library –Create credibility in the client’s eyes Prepare for meetings by researching what ‘excites’ clients: –Success is not measured by the size of your panel set Keep your fellow team members informed and be informed yourself: –Know what is going on throughout the project generally –Know your work area status in depth –Be proactive in anticipating what the Project Lead needs Do not give opinions straightaway, raise topics for discussion and express your opinion at the appropriate time Look for knowledge capture/learning opportunities Build a Gemini network to ensure you maximise your content/impact: –Nurture those contacts Differentiate between “what?” questions (content) and “how?” questions (process) Develop your relationship with your client at whatever level. nformed I
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential eamy Partner with your clients Help others win: –Help out when others are struggling –Don’t wait to be asked Have a working knowledge of other streams’ activities Use, and contribute to, Gemini networks Ask for, and give, feedback, including builds on daily work: –Give coaching and feedback at appropriate times and on an ongoing basis It’s OK to ask for help and OK to say “I don’t know... I’ll get back to you” Actively participate in team events and training sessions, but remember you have a life outside Gemini: –Take your share of team “A’s” –Be proactive about making constructive suggestions within the Gemini team –Everyone has a role in developing the team Look for the good points and opportunities in someone’s ideas: –Value the differences Remember that win-win drives more effective teams: –It’s not necessary to seek the spotlight –Always seek the win-win solution Have a go at anything. T
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Always seek to exceed expectations and be clear what they are Anticipate, be proactive: –Be creative –Consulting by walking around –Talk to people Actively care about your client and helping them do the right thing: –Take personal pride in the project and company Actively care about your client and helping them do the right thing: –Take personal pride in the project and company Be concise and to the point: –Strive for clarity of thought and expression Keep calm, don’t flap, look and act confident Be incisive and decisive Seek to be a “guru” in something (worthwhile!) Use people to best effect by involving them in every way Think and use the values Leadership inspires. nspiring I
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Remember, that we are not expected to have bad days in front of the client Remember, that we are not expected to be wrong or to make mistakes Keep the status, progress and results of your workstream visible Don’t spend all day in the project office Clients can have bad days or be wrong - it’s our job to coach and counsel them We must be seen to contribute no matter how many days per week on-site We are guests in their company and they are always the client: –They are physically always around We must maintain “consultant guard” at all times isible V
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Be prepared to work hard for the client and get involved Be active and display real energy in team meetings and team social activities Be seen to add value at all stages of the project Be seen to enthuse clients and JTM’s in delivering results: –Don’t try to do the impossible on your own Look for ways to contribute to the clients overall success Hit the ground running fast. nergetic E
B.Build Client Relationships
“Treat relationship building as formally and with as much importance and thought as any other project activity.”
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Remember that you cannot NOT communicate The overall impression we leave with someone will depend: –7% on the words we use –38% on how we say them –55% on how we look That means that the words have to be right but how we speak and how we look is also important Remember that when there is a conflict between what you say and how you said it, the non-verbals will win out.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential First impressions count, so be prepared First impressions will be taken as predictive of your behaviour –The other person will characterise you –At future encounters you will h ave to work hard to change this if you are unhappy with it First impressions are based on what you say, how you look and dress and how you sound Perception is reality First impressions decide whether you have made a potential friend or a potential enemy for Gemini.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Remember these guidelines when first meeting the client Before: –Find out about the business, the project and the key people –Focus on facts. Avoid judgment or vague statements –Find out about him or her: Position in the company, involvement in the project, attitude toward Gemini –Find out how you have been pre-positioned by your colleagues –Make sure you have been on-boarded To be credible, be prepared: –Something about yourself –Something about Gemini –Something about the project –Three point of substance about the client, preferably issues of common agreement amongst client and Gemini people
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential There are other guidelines to keep in mind when first meeting the client Don’t express views to forcefully Emphasise what you have in common but don’t overdo it or invent things Demonstrate yourself to be knowledgeable about the business and the project Show interest in what the other person does by asking questions and listening. Don’t rush to respond: –75% listening –25% speaking Use summaries when the person offers views about the project but you may have to avoid showing strong agreement or disagreement Take notes during or after, including their name The key is to see yourself as others see you.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential You won’t get it right every time Review what you do and ask for feedback from others Remember plan, do, review Aim to do more of the things that work and less of the things that don’t work
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Consultant guard is all about professionalism and trust Role modelling good change management behaviours: –Always demonstrating impartiality and honesty in words and actions –Consistently using core skills, particularly: Effective meetings and facilitation best practices PS/TB Coaching and feedback Maintaining a safe distance: –Being objective at all times –Giving credit for the ideas and the efforts of others –Avoiding going native –Using discretion and judgment in personal relationships Setting and working to high personal and professional standards, ethics and values is the first step towards gaining the client’s trust.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Professionalism covers how we act and how we are seen by others Actions communicate more than words: –Maintaining client confidentially and anonymity Not mentioning clients by name unless cleared by them or having their materials visible to others –Attending meetings on time and being well prepared: Ensuring next steps done well and on time –Maintaining enthusiasm and a positive ‘can do’ attitude –Ensuring accuracy of data and information –Offering help when lightly loaded or others appear to need it –Taking accountability for a fair share of next steps –Avoiding involvement in gossip, particularly when negative or derogatory Appearances paint important messages: –Dressing appropriately –Keeping work area, car, documentation and filing clean and tidy Demonstrating capability in use of core skills and adherence to high levels of professionalism creates credibility.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential How not to let your guard slip “Care and Feeding of Client Resources” –Get to know secretaries, etc. –Schedule meetings as far in advance as possible –Keep meetings to time contracts –Don’t have a meeting if not needed –Be sensitive to client’s other “real” work requirements REMEMBER: If you can’t explain/justify it to a client, don’t buy it, do it or use it.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential How not to let your guard slip “Care and Feeding of Client Equipment” –If you jam a machine, fix it or report it –Let clients use photocopier first - let them go ahead if they are behind you in line –Don’t monopolize equipment –Ask for their rules for production –Ask where to part, cafeteria rules, etc. –Don’t move their equipment –Don’t leave your materials in fax machine or copier –Remove the transparencies from the copier when you’re done, refill paper tray –Schedule conference rooms through appropriate path –Ask what you are allowed to do in the conference rooms (I.e. tape up flips?, brown papers? food?) –Find out long distance phone call rules (how will client bill Gemini) –Find out security rules/hours of operation –Ask for client supplies - don’t simply help yourself - check with Project Manager as to how to get them –Turn off light switches REMEMBER: If you can’t explain/justify it to a client, don’t buy it, do it or use it.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential How not to let your guard slip “Remember Your Communications” –Don’t listen to your VMS on a speaker phone at client site –Don’t respond to your VMS in a loud voice, in an open area or in hearing distance of clients –Don’t talk about expenses or do your voucher in client view/earshot –Keep personal calls limited to hotel REMEMBER: If you can’t explain/justify it to a client, don’t buy it, do it or use it.
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential How not to let your guard slip “Impressions You Can Make” –Do fly/travel in the same class as client traveling with you –Don’t show up to client site in a limousine or very expensive rental car –When reusing panel sets from other projects, don’t forget to sanitise them (no logo or previous client indicators) –Don’t work on other client work at the client sight REMEMBER: If you can’t explain/justify it to a client, don’t buy it, do it or use it.
D.Road Warrior Tips
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential How to approach the early stages of your project (prior to and up to first week of first project) Make friends with IST Make friends with Document Production / Mac Resource, they are equals - treat them as such Offer friendship as well as panel sets! Make friends with the Information Centre Befriend the editors Befriend the Communication Centre Befriend the Reception team (JIT desks... ) Link up with your buddy Demand an Expectations Exchange in week one which is absolutely clear - deliverables, timing, etc. Make sure you get the onboarding briefing on day one Understand and use the consulting guard Understand the client politics - who is pro / against Gemini Understand how you have been positioned with the client - experience, length of time in Gemini, etc. Never be afraid to ask for help It is not okay not to ask for help
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Personal life management Expect it to be concentrated around weekends Expect big phone bills Expect to work less than one out of four weekends Discuss work commitments up front with partners: BE TRUTHFUL Don’t bring Gemini jargon home! Endeavour on a daily basis to make time for yourself to do what ever you like (applies particularly when you are not on a home-based project) Try to make friends with team mates so that after office time is relaxing but don’t be afraid to spend time on your own Strive for 3/4/5 - it’s allowed Don’t stay on site for appearance sake Don’t be afraid to accord “home management” high priority when on a home-based long hours project Don’t do VMS late on Friday night Plan your weekends early to maximise their benefit (I.e., don’t expect friends to be available at the drop of a hat)
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential ‘Watch outs’ around how you might feel early on Don’t expect to necessarily feel good in your first few weeks It gets ‘hugely’ better after the first six months Write down every little win and remember them when it all seems doom and gloom Get regular feedback - things may not be as dire as you suspect Don’t be afraid of the ‘hit the ground running’ expectation - help is available for if you trip up Be aware the client may not necessarily know how new you are to begin with Be confident! Gemini recruits less than it rejects Remember ‘former life’ skills and experiences and relate the current situation to them so you can use them
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential ‘Watch outs’ around how you might feel early on (cont) Respond honestly to questions, buy time when you don’t know the answer and go and find it out When faced with client hostility remember the political, rational, emotional dimensions, move the issue to rational and work it Don’t take attacks on Gemini personally Don’t go native Remember the Consulting Guard Role model the values, (excellence and mastery in particular) to overcome hostility
SurvSkls v1.ppt Gemini Consulting Limited Proprietary and Confidential Suggested Reading “Keeping Your Professional Edge” - Journal of Management Consulting, Volume 4, Number 4, 1988 “Process Consulting” - Ed Schein (Excellent) “The Art of War” - Sun Ten (English translation) The Economist “How to Lead Work Teams” from Rees, Pfeiffer Publishing (Excellent) Amazon.com on the internet to order most any book with a 2 day delivery!!!