Print Page  |  Contact Us  |  Your Cart  |  Sign In  |  Join IMC USA
Daily Tips for Consultants
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   

 

View all (805) posts »
 

#522: Make Sure Your Recommendations are Characterized Accurately

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Client staff sometimes characterize a consultant's recommendations and suggestions to suit their own purposes. What should I be on guard for to make sure my recommendations aren't distorted after I make them?

Be aware of several very subtle yet powerful techniques that change people's perspectives in a way you didn't intend:
  • Calling something a "notion" or "suggestion" or "idea" diminishes the strength of your recommendation. If you are sure of your recommendations, be sure to use that word in presenting it.
  • Personalizing ownership of your recommendation (e.g., "Joe's idea") can sometimes prompt divisiveness, even if it is the consultant's idea. Let a concept (or recommendation) stand on its merits and not carry the baggage (good or bad) of its source.
  • Describing the idea as "new" or "bold" or "aggressive" can put a spin on your suggestion that might not be accurate, and may be off-putting to those who have heard (or tried) it before.
  • Aligning the recommendation with some functionality (e.g., "the marketing-based proposal" or "IT-focused approach" can erroneously suggest that the idea "belongs" inaccurately to some group or heading.
  • People changing the intended focus when describing your recommendation. For example, your proposal for improving return on marketing investment by decreasing the number of pages in an advertising flyer to focus on key sale items might be incorrectly characterized in the meeting as "cutting advertising costs" instead of "maximizing advertising effectiveness". This might elicit defensiveness in the some participants.
Tip: There are more subtle changes that can slip in if you are not watching. Try to catch these mischaracterizations early. Confront them directly, forthrightly and with sensitivity.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  communication  presentations  recommendations 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)
 
Community Search
Sign In


Forgot your password?

Haven't joined yet?

IMC USA Calendar

12/13/2016
IMC NCR: 2016 Annual Holiday Party

12/19/2016
IMC NorCal 2016 Holiday Party

12/20/2016
December C2M Live "When Good Enough Isn't: What You Can Do to Elevate Your Consulting Competency"

Message from the Chair
Loraine A. Huchler CMC FIMC2016 IMC Fellow Award Recipient
Gayle Carson CMC CSP FIMC2016 IMC Fellow Award Recipient