Consulting Skills

Successful consulting demands more than domain expertise.  Active listening, gathering requirements, building a business case and engaging stakeholders are just a few of the competencies that we build in our consulting skills workshops.

  • Building Relationships
    • Building Relationships

      Course Number: 004-TD
      Recommended Duration: 2 Days

      Intended Audience: Corporate Executives

      Course Overview

      This course covers business consulting skills for both face-to-face and virtual meetings.

      Objectives

      Upon successful completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
      • Guide the business partner through a powerful seven-step questioning process, in order to understand the business partner’s realistic needs vs. their perceived wants
      • Demonstrate techniques used to establish and maintain rapport in person, on the phone, and in various other business settings
      • Practice active listening
      • Discover the enterprise-wide effect of any new or changed processes or procedures
      • Determine how to collaborate with individuals who have different work strategies
      • Apply interpersonal skills in the virtual environment
      • Practice flexibility in their communications
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • A powerful seven-step questioning technique to assist in defining the business partner’s real needs vs. their perceived wants
      • Asking the right questions with the right language patterns
      • Determining the most realistic and appropriate acceptance criteria at the beginning of a project
      • Three easy-to-follow techniques to become a focused, proactive listener
      • How to establish and maintain rapport with business partners and team members
      • Using interpersonal skills in virtual and face-to-face environments
      • Clarifying vague wording in describing the business partner’s desired outcomes
      • Building a collaborative relationship with the business partner
      • Assuring that acceptance criteria is in compliance with enterprise-wide guidelines

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  • Business Consulting for the IT Professional - "Customer Speak for the Technical Geek"
    • Business Consulting for the IT Professional - "Customer Speak for the Technical Geek"

      Course Number: 016-TD
      Recommended Duration: 2 Days

      Intended Audience: IT Professionals and Business Analysts

      Course Overview

      The typical cause for rejection is incomplete or inaccurate information gathered in the early stages of the project. However, when the IT professional practices precise questioning techniques that lead the business partner to describe what they NEED versus what they think they WANT, accurate acceptance criteria becomes the norm. This course blends the art of precise questioning with rapport skills, active listening, collaboration, and other interpersonal skills through proven guided exercises.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn to:
      • Guide the client through a powerful seven-step questioning process, in order to understand the difference between the business partner’s perceived wants and their realistic needs
      • Discover the enterprise-wide affect of any new or changed process/procedure
      • Brainstorm best practices in the Virtual Meeting environment
      • Practice active listening – in the moment
      • Demonstrate techniques used to gain rapport in person, on the phone, and in various other business settings
      • Practice flexibility in your communications in light of the unique working strategies of your business partners
      • Use language patterns that set the stage for a collaborative working environment
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • A powerful seven-step questioning technique to assist the business partner in defining their real needs
      • Clarifying vague wording that could cause confusion or eventual rejection of a project
      • Influencing solutions that are in the best interest of the business partner and enterprise
      • Virtual vs. Face-to-face meetings
      • Techniques to create a collaborative working relationship with the business partner
      • Establishing and maintaining rapport with the business partner
      • Three, easy-to-follow techniques to become a more focused and proactive listener

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  • Essential Consulting Skills for Internal Consultants
    • Essential Consulting Skills for Internal Consultants

      Course Number: 124-BB
      Recommended Duration: 2 Days

      Intended Audience: Those in an internal advisory, support, or project management role.

      Course Overview

      This course provides project managers, facilitators, or internal support personnel the skills to effectively define, manage, and deliver complex assignments. The course is highly interactive and is tailored to meet the specific needs of the participants.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn how to:
      • Contract with clients
      • Manage clients effectively
      • Manage assignments
      • Present solutions effectively
      • Develop and use interpersonal skills
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • Defining and understanding the role of an internal consultant
      • The consultancy process
      • Client management
      • Managing one to one meetings, contracting, communicating, delivery, measurement of results, and reviewing
      • Assignment management
      • The project contract, planning, risk management, stakeholder management, and partnering
      • Interpersonal effectiveness
      • Questioning, listening, body language, oral communication, language, and constructive feedback
      • Building rapport, assertiveness, negotiation, managing conflict, influencing styles and strategies

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  • Internal Consulting Skills
    • Internal Consulting Skills

      Course Number: 052-GO
      Recommended Duration: 2 Days

      Intended Audience: Individuals who are responsible for consulting internal clients.

      Course Overview

      This course helps individuals consult effectively with internal clients by following a consultative process while applying fundamental consultant skills and consulting techniques.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn to:
      • Effectively plan for, conduct, and follow-up client consultations
      • Utilize the fundamental consulting skill sets of listening, planning, contracting, advising/influencing, and overcoming resistance
      • Conduct the four basic stages of consulting
      • Lead project teams associated with internal client deliverables
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • The fundamental roles and skills of a consultant
      • The change model
      • The consultant’s role as a change agent
      • Personal qualities of an effective consultant, self-assessment
      • The four basic stages of consulting: evaluate, plan, contract, and deliver
      • The components and benefits of contracting
      • Key characteristics of an effective contract
      • The skills of contracting
      • The contracting discussion
      • The fundamental skill sets: listening, planning, contracting, advising/influencing, and overcoming resistance
      • Effective project teams
      • The team launch
      • Characteristics of effective project teams
      • Tools to support success
      • Team simulation
      • Skill practice and action planning

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  • Consulting for Results
    • Consulting for Results

      Course Number: 049-GO
      Recommended Duration: 1 Day

      Intended Audience: Individuals responsible for consulting with clients.

      Course Overview

      This course helps individuals consult effectively with internal or external clients by following a consultative process while applying fundamental consultant skills and consulting techniques.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn to:
      • Effectively plan for, conduct, and follow-up client consultations
      • Utilize the fundamental consulting skill sets of listening, planning, contracting, and advising
      • Conduct the four basic stages of consulting
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • The fundamental roles and skills of a consultant
      • The change model
      • The consultant’s role as a change agent
      • Personal qualities of an effective consultant
      • The four basic stages of consulting: evaluate, plan, contract, and deliver
      • The components and benefits of contracting
      • Key characteristics of an effective contract
      • The skills of contracting
      • The contracting discussion
      • The fundamental skill sets: listening, planning, contracting, and advising
      • Skill practice and action planning

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  • Customer Relations and Awesome Service
    • Customer Relations and Awesome Service

      Course Number: 114-KM
      Recommended Duration: 1 Day

      Intended Audience: All Employees

      Course Overview

      The key ingredient to all effective customer relations is the self-esteem and enthusiasm of the giver of service to the recipient of that service. Therefore, the first aspect of learning effective customer service skills is to develop a staff of highly energized people with a high self-esteem quotient. Self-esteem is the single most important factor influencing our ability to achieve personal and professional success. It also greatly influences an individual’s ability to contribute to a team. This course helps to increase the level of self-esteem in individuals and to remove the barriers which keep them from reaching their full personal and professional potential.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn to:
      • Understand the key elements of self-esteem
      • Increase the self-esteem and performance levels of team members
      • Decrease intra-staff conflict
      • Unleash your energy for performing effective customer service
      • Expand your confidence to take on increased responsibility, investment, and leadership within the organization
      • Achieve corporate objectives with enthusiasm and energy
      • Increase customer satisfaction
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics


      Morning Session
      • Dealing with self-esteem
      • Causes of low self-esteem
      • Developing a personal “self-confidence quotient”
      • Developing a team “group confidence quotient”
      • Characteristics of individuals and teams with high self-esteem
      • Strategies for increasing and maximizing self-esteem
      • The vital link between self-esteem and performance
      • Creating an organization that re-energizes employee self-esteem
      Afternoon Session
      • Hidden keys to customer satisfaction
      • How to communicate empathy and still set limits with customers
      • Communication scripts that work with most customers
      • How to exceed the expectations of people seeking your services
      • How to not be pulled down by negative customers/clientele
      • How to diffuse disruptive emotions expressed by customers/clientele
      • How to lead the field in your profession

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  • Delivering Exceptional Customer Service
    • Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

      Course Number: 013-GO
      Recommended Duration: 1 Day

      Intended Audience: Individuals responsible for providing customer service either over the phone or in person

      Course Overview

      This course provides a review of the importance and benefits of providing exceptional customer service. Participants will identify their external customers and discuss their service expectations. A facilitated discussion will help participants to identify ways to solve current customer service problems and gain initial agreement on service standards. A goal is for each employee to treat each customer experience as an individual experience for each person. Tools and techniques taught and experienced will include telephone and face to face customer service skills with prospective and existing clients, including listening skills, questioning skills, effective use of words, vocal tone and body language.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn to:
      • Determine how exceptional customer service benefits themselves, their customer and the company in quantifiable terms
      • Identify your external customers, their expectations and ways to exceed them
      • Define practices that make up exceptional customer service for their area
      • Identify and solve current customer service problems
      • Deliver exceptional customer service both over the phone and in person
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • Components of exceptional customer service cultures
      • Knowing and applying these key components to your business environment can increase customer satisfaction and retention
      • The core dimensions of customer service
      • Customer service research and facts
      • Characteristics of good and bad customer service
      • How to set your company apart from the competition
      • Common traits of professional customer service employees
      • Core skills self-assessment checklist
      • Identifying your client groups
      • Continuously improving your customer service levels
      • A facilitated customer service problem solving session
      • Tools to deliver exceptional customer service
      • Exceed client expectations
      • Diffuse angry clients
      • Anticipating client needs
      • Making clients feel valued through exceptional listening and questing techniques
      • Scenario skill practice
      • Key learning’s and action planning / session evaluation

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  • Effective Telephone Communications
    • Effective Telephone Communications

      Course Number: 042-GO
      Recommended Duration: ½ Day or 1 Day

      Intended Audience: Individuals who utilize the telephone to conduct business.

      Course Overview

      This course provides practical and realistic strategies, methods, and techniques for providing effective and efficient service when conducting business over the telephone.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn to:
      • Utilize practical telephone techniques to provide more effective customer service
      • Answer phones, screen calls, take complete messages and be professional when conducting business over the phone
      • Handle difficult callers to diffuse conflict situations
      • Leave concise and effective voice mail messages
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • Applying effective telephone techniques - when to answer the phone - placing callers on hold and for how long - transferring calls - answering others’ phones - call back strategies
      • Managing the phone conversation effectively
      • Facial expressions can be heard
      • Getting to the point and staying focused
      • Dealing with interruptions
      • Taking clear and complete messages
      • Handling the abusive caller with style
      • How to diffuse a difficult situation
      • Efficient use of answering machines and voice mail
      • How to receive and leave memorable and concise messages
      • Directing calls to the right person
      • Communication methods
      • Use of active listening and paraphrasing techniques to confirm understanding
      • Questioning and probing for clarity
      • Skill practice and personal action plan

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  • Client Interactions
    • Client Interactions

      Course Number: 011-GO
      Recommended Duration: 1 Day

      Intended Audience: Individuals who have direct client interaction

      Course Overview

      This course focuses on the importance of impactful client interactions. It will cover skills to use in informal discussions, meetings, and presentation settings.

      Objectives

      As a result of taking this course, you will learn to:
      • Express thoughts to a group confidently, both in a presentation setting and in a more casual discussion setting
      • Listen to a client and respond appropriately based on the position or seniority of the client
      • Lead a discussion and manage a group of people who are straying from the agenda
      Prerequisites: None

      Topics

      • Components of exceptional customer service cultures
      • Knowing and applying key components to your business environment can increase customer satisfaction and retention
      • The core dimensions of customer service
      • Customer service research and facts
      • Listening and questioning skills for client services
      • Effective meetings
      • Effective presentations
      • Scenario skill practice
      • Key learning and action planning
      • Session evaluation

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