Whenever I’m acting as a coach, a facilitator or a consultant for a team there’s one thing that struck me every time – how much being a practitioner helps me in performing in the role. And when I say a practitioner I think about doing similar work as the teams do on a daily basis, and not only coaching, consulting or facilitating. It’s like doing my regular stuff except it is a bit different. But then, I’m solving similar problems every day, am I not?
Personally, I could imagine myself being full-time consultant, although I believe I’d lose something this way. On one hand full-time consultants are exposed to more different environments as, well, this is what they do – they visit different organizations and work with them. On the other, consultants come, consultants go – most of the time they don’t hang around to see the final results of their work. After all it isn’t their responsibility to make the change stick.
However, when I think about consultant versus practitioner perspective the biggest thing that still keeps me on practitioner’s side of the fence is fear of disconnection. At this moment whenever I’m “selling” you something it is likely verified in the organization I work (or have worked) for. Been there, seen that, done that. You can trust me.
It’s not that I read this trendy book or my company is selling training of that method. It’s not that I spent much time on conferences listening to all those published authors, thought-leaders and whatnot who are extremely knowledgeable but are also long gone from real jobs, you know, the ones that produce something tangible.
I really touch the crap. And live with it. So whenever I’m wrong there’s no one else but me to clean up the mess.
So what I’m thinking about here are two things. One question is for consultants that are reading the blog (I know there are quite a few of you): how are you coping with the issue of disconnection? Or maybe it is just non-issue?
Another question would be for those of you who are considering hiring some help to sort things out in your organization: would you prefer a consultant or a practitioner and why?
I’d be glad to hear as many voices as possible, so if you are considering commenting the post but not really sure, please do – you’ll earn my infinite gratitude. And you definitely want it because it is exchangeable for a beer when you meet me.