Customer Reviews: Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used
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on April 19, 2012
I know this is is aimed at consultants, but all of us are consultants, so long as we have to negotiate a work relationship with someone else. And Block shows you how to do this in a clear, engaging way that may have a profound impact on your life.

I have had a copy of this book in all its iterations. I use the current edition in a course I teach. The feedback from the students is that this "soft" stuff is far more useful to them than the technical part of the class--because they realize that most of the obstacles to their work involve people more than actual technical problems.

Some people dismiss this book because it is so "soft." But it is really filled with excellent advice (even scripting conversations for you). And, more importantly, it asks you to confront your own sense of "victimhood." People have choices. You have choices. Your client (or boss) has choices. Make yours. Let your boss make hers (his). And then do the best you can. This sounds simple. But just try it sometime. You will feel like the bravest person you can imagine--and you will be just that.

And once you have absorbed that most important lesson, all the rest of the book will fall into place for you. And Block is an engaging writer. You will enjoy the journey.

I can't recommend this book enough.
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on January 17, 2014
Purchased Flawless Consulting for some information on how to market myself as a consultant and be effective in that role.

I was expecting a book with tips and tricks for being an effective consultant - along with some cautionary tales and advice from the trenches.

This book does not provide the information in a very digestable format. It is very nuts and bolts. Do this, do that, don't do this, do that... with almost zero stories from the field to teach the lessons of the book. There is good information here... but it is a bear to get through it.
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on October 12, 2013
A recent workplace development course entitled " Effective Workplace Consulting" led me to this book. The return on investment was invaluable within the first chapter. Block confirmed that I was performing out of role and taught me to consult with peers and not take on their work. Within the first chapter, I have redefined workplace project roles and tasks, moved to 1:1 meetings with project team members and everyone thanked me as I gingerly gave them their work back. Block prepared me for any resistance which led to better meeting preparation...within the first chapter. I am now acting as a consultant opposed to "manager". My supervisor noticed the change and tendered a compliment on my meeting management within a week of my beginning this book. This book made the difference!
.I should have read this book two years ago for my current role and 15 years ago as I started in my career. You cannot afford to not read this book. Personally and professionally Block will show you that you may be acting out of role, futilely exerting energy and setting yourself up for failure. I am now a Peter Block fan.
How well do you manage resistance when purusing your own needs when consulting --- ask Peter Block
How well do you garner committment from others - ask Peter Block
What should you define in your contract - ask Peter Block
How do you determine if you are "effective" - ask Peter Block
What is the discovery model for problem solving that you can use time after time - ask Peter Block
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on February 20, 2013
The ideas in this book are great and helpful. That's the good part. The problem is in the meandering writing style and the steps within steps within (well, you get the idea). This book is certainly a must have as a quick reference, but as a cover to cover read, it gets a bit cumbersome.
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on December 19, 2013
If you are not interested in authenticity and are not the patient sort, this book isn't for you. If wealth creation is your primary driver, this book isn't for you either.

The focus of this book is on how authenticity can help you do a better job, and win the respect as well as loyalty of your clients. The consulting process recommended by Peter requires patience (consulting is a process and not an overnight solution, the consultant is not the doctor but a partner, and the client is not an observer but a participant), and require that consultants have the courage to not only educate the client, but to turn down clients.

It may seem a bit idealistic in the real world and not always applicable - I know this because not every consulting company is going to be authentic. Consultants may be coerced to meet sales targets, make quick profits, or they may be oversold (or undersold) by the sales team (in some consulting firms, the principals do not do the sales & contracting - they deliver after the contract is signed. The sales and contracting is done by a different team).

Nevertheless, the principles and values, espoused by Peter is something I personally share.

The content is presented in an easy to read delivery. Templates can be downloaded through the author's website.
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on June 25, 2013
This book was a required text for my graduate studies at USC. I was immediately drawn into it and loved the way Block converted years of experience into easy to read format for beginner as well as experienced professionals. It's an easy read for people with busy lives as well as students who want to learn more about consulting after they graduate.

Block does a great job warning about crossing the line from consultant to employee when dealing with clients as well as how to deal with resistance. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to get into the consulting industry or for seasoned pros who want another perspective as a way to keep their sword sharp!
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on December 7, 2015
Flawless Consulting is a classic in books on consulting, yet I was slightly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, Flawless Consulting is a good and useful book that will definitively improve your consulting perspectives and skills, yet I had expected more. The parts of the book related to consultant authenticity was excellent, but the parts on consulting phases and contracting felt mechanic. Perhaps I'm just turned off by the phrases 'phases' (which often contradicts with a more continuous perspective) and 'contracts' (which often replace deep trust). The author did mention contract is more of a verbal/mental contract, but the word comes with a lot of baggage.

The book is about 350 pages and contains 19 chapters plus some appendixes. It promises it is shorter than previous editions by moving more content online. The first few chapters set the tone for the rest of the book. The first chapter looks at the definition of consulting and introduces the 5 phase consulting process: 1) Entry & Contracting, 2) Discovery and Dialogue, 3) Analysis and the Decision to Act, 4) Engagement and Implementation, and 5) Extension, Recycle or Termination. The rest of the book follows these phases is chronological sequence. The second chapter introduces the collaborative approach to consulting that the book takes. As a consultant, you collaborate with a client on 50/50 basis to together help the client improve. The third chapter introduces the concept of authenticity to consulting, staying true and congruent to your own feelings and intuition and trying to truly collaborate on equal basis to resolve problems. These three concepts: 1) consulting phases, 2) collaborative relation, and 3) authenticity form the basis for the rest of the book.

I won't summarize the rest of the chapters as the follow the consulting concepts in the order of the phases. The phases made me uncomfortable though as I've always viewed consulting as a more iterative and continuous activity where there is gradual discovery, decision making and implementation going on all the time. The strict approach that the book took to these phases felt very unnatural to me, but it might have to do with the different types of consulting. Some might be purely project/goal basis and some might be more continuous. The collaborative and authenticity concepts would fit extremely well with a continuous and iterative view on consulting though, so in that sense, I felt that was a missed opportunity.

All that said, the book is a full with useful advise on how to improve your consulting skills. It is definitively be useful for any person in a consultative role and would recommend picking this up. Good.
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on November 8, 2015
I ran upon this book when I was hired into a company to be an internal consultant in 1195. My manager gave me Peter's book and asked me to read it before joining the company - I am so very glad he did. Today, I teach strategy, leadership, and operations courses to MBA's and Executive MBA's at a private university. In some of my courses I give the students an assignment to read Peter's book. I divide them into teams and have them read and then teach one another the process of consulting outlined in Peter's book. The goal is to teach them how effective consultants interact with clients because one day they will either hire consultants, work with them, or become a consultant. Toward the end of the course Peter meets with them and exposes them to the art of listening and being authentic. Peter's assertion that being authentic with the client always resonates with them from multiple perspectives. It is always very interesting to hear the comments of the students after they've read the book, taught one another the method of consulting, and then utilize the methods with a real client. I highly recommend this book to executives and those on the path of becoming an one.
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on October 6, 2014
This came to my notice as a consulting class e-book; I purchased a hardcopy after reading the first chapter. I highly recommend it to ANYONE especially if you are looking to learn how to communicate better in ANY situation; but especially when you are communicating from a lesser status position (such as at work; with superiors or customers). As for consulting itself; this is by far the best advice you could ever get; not just for yourself but for anyone you may consult for and their organization.
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on December 28, 2015
Having read over a hundred books in the fields of organization development, change management, and consulting, this book has had a tremendous influence on my practice. It is probably one of my top 10 of all time.

Block does not talk about the technical aspects of consulting, but focuses on the way of being with the client and ourselves. This is as it should be. After all, we got selected for the job for possessing technical skills. That being said, Block advocates a partnership with the client for a joint discovery of the "real problem" and the "solution". This is in contrast to the traditional expert and the pair of hands models of consulting.
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