Gratitude – Day 67 (Consulting)

I feel that I have a very effective combination of skills for consulting. A host of process improvement tools, formalized training in project management, problem solving, logic, facilitation, direct approach, strategic planning, use of the advance features of MS Excel and Word, and a desire to make work environments better and more efficient. Big deal. What is this, a resume? Well, I am under-utilized in my current position at work. That can be a bit frustrating at times.

This past week and a half, I have been assisting a department with a project. It is quite rewarding. The rewarding part is that they came to me to get help with project “A”, but it became apparent early in the discovery meeting that a number of other factors were in need of attention. It is a small department so, it is  easy to involve the whole group. They bring different perspectives, personalities, and opinions to the table and that is great. During the meeting, I had to switch gears very quickly from the mode of working on Project “A”, to facilitating a discuss about the various problems and obstacles that would prevent us from going forward. A lot of good information came out of the session and we are heading in a whole new direction. The meeting became a bit uncomfortable for one of the participants and by the end of the meeting his anxiety was pretty high. The prospect of change can be daunting and make people very anxious. I will be called upon to use many of the tools in my toolbox before we are done with this effort. I am enjoying the challenge and the opportunity to help people work through their apprehensions about change. For the most part, everyone looks like they will be well engaged with the effort.

I quite enjoy the challenge of problem solving. My current role as an internal Management consultant is well suited to my abilities and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to shape and direct my career. It is unfortunate that my workload is light, but then again, I am making good use of my spare time to develop skills and better formalize my approach to consulting. It has been an interesting journey so far. In many ways, problems and challenges in the workplace are not very different from challenges in a boardgame. It is a matter of making the best use of all of your pieces, so they are drawing on their strengths and supporting a common vision and direction. When that happens, checkmate!

Life is a game with many rules but no referee. One learns how to play it more by watching it than by consulting any book, including the holy book. Small wonder, then, that so many play dirty, that so few win, that so many lose. ~ Joseph Brodsky

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