|Consultant is a lonely warrior in the filed. He is expected to put results on the table. He is expected to solve problems. Fast. He is expected to always win. To do so, he needs a winning tactics to achieve his goals. In thirty six stratagems there are 6 groups one of which is The Stratagems of Winning:||
All these can be successfully applied in consultancy too.
Deceive the heavens to cross the ocean
This stratagem means that you mask your real goals, thus deceiving even the emperor / heavens itself with a fake goal, until they are confronted with finished facts. – Wikipedia
I found this technique useful only for the case of broken trust. I found that revealing completely my real goals with customers and managers works best. Usually it is something that can be described as win win situation. I understand perfectly that when I am trying to achieve a goal that might potentially pose a risk to either customer or a manager I won’t achieve it easily. What’s even worse is that I won’t have fun and I won’t enjoy achieving it if I will be forced to use this stratagem.
On other hand, consulting is much about politics. It is extremely rare that all parties have the same goals or at least goals that overlap. Consultant is always involved in some sort of conflict:
- The budget is low but the expectations are high.
- Two customers has urgent issues simultaneously.
- Management makes business decision that is less favorable to the customer the consultant facing.
- The service is paid by one guy (procurement) but it is delivered to other one (actual end user), and there is a disconnect between the two.
- The competition shows better results but the consultant just cannot admit it as it would terminate the gig (which is about another stratagem, defeat stratagem).
How do you win in such situations?
You Deceive the Heavens To Cross The Ocean. You mask your real goals, achieve it and present finished fact. Then, you lead a horse to water.
The easiest way to win hearts of customers and managers is revealing your real goals up-front. This is possible when your customers or managers are purposeful. If this is not the case – Deceive The Heavens To Cross The Ocean.
Practice This – Get Results
- Is your customer purposeful? – reveal your real goals up-front.
- Is your manager purposeful? – reveal your real goals up-front.
- In all other cases – mask your goals.
- Practice Emotional intelligence.
- Deliver value silently, then make them confront with finished fact. No one can argue with facts.