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The Seven Deadly Sins of Consultant Behaviour

The problem with the behaviour of some consultants is that they really can think they are special, which can lead them to forget that they are actually representing someone else. If you are a consultant working for a small firm, beware the seven deadly sins that you can very easily commit. They could lead to your ever worrying boss receiving the dreaded call that either you have to go or worse – that the firm is out.

  1. Passive- aggressive behaviour. The only outcome of this behaviour is to leave others feeling confused and unclear. This includes those who nod and smile when they don’t agree and have no intention of following through with the issue. Be honest and transparent about what you can and can’t achieve.
  2. Not getting involved. Sitting on the outside looking in and then coming in like ’the saviour’ when others can’t deliver. So roll your sleeves up and you’ll get more respect by taking ownership.
  3. Micromanaging. This leaves people feeling that you think they can’t do the job or worse, that you haven’t got enough to do so you are doing their job. That makes people insecure. Look at the bigger picture.
  4. Ignoring the professional capability of the team. Show people that you recognise their ability and their potential. Don’t judge everyone in one dimension.
  5. Focus only on the weakness of the team. This leads to disengagement. If you are responsible for pushing the team to become disengaged, then you won’t stay around for very long. Show that you value everyone’s input and what they can bring to the team effort.
  6. Being a pessimist. When the client brings you problems don’t join in – encourage brainstorming and ideas to get things moving.
  7. Being unapproachable. Too busy? Make people fear retribution if they tell you something that has gone wrong? Shame on you – they are paying you to sort things out quicker than if they were left alone.


Penny Whitelock FinstLM



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