I feel as though I’ve not blogged for ages, it’s been a few weeks at least. It’s not that I’ve not been thinking about things rather that starting a new job does take its toll on your time and energy. Anyhoo this is something that I’ve wanted to get off my chest for a while so hopefully getting this off my chest will help me focus on some of the posts I need to come back to and things I’ve been thinking about and doing in the new job. It’s all very exciting stuff and I’m enjoying the new challenge with DPG immensely.
So back to One Bad Egg,”what’s it all about then” I hear you ask….well let me tell you. I’ve been lucky enough throughout my career to work well with 99.9% of people I’ve encountered and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some talented and hard working people. I’ve had to agree to disagree with people in the past however, during these times mutual respect has always been present. In one way or another we’ve had to compromise and still achieved what we both wanted and it’s never nice to disagree, but it happens. In all these circumstances communication has been the key on both sides with a healthy portion of honesty, integrity and an appreciation of the others’ position.
So what about the 0.01%?
I wanted to share my experience of when I came in to contact with someone that I didn’t work well with and explain why there was no connection and the sorts of things I observed whilst working with this “consultant” that has prompted me to share this. I’ve also reflected on my own actions and behaviour during the episode and asked myself what I’d do differently on more than one occasion.
I had the challenge of working with this “consultant” earlier this year and and here are some things I’d recommend this person to consider and reflect on before taking their next position. Before I do this I want to be clear I’m not writing this post because I’m bitter (well maybe a bit) or want to bad mouth this person as no names will be mentioned. I think it’s important to understand and analyse why these things happen, to share them and reflect on what you have learned from them.
So here goes,
1) During the recruitment process ensure you have the right skills to do the job you’re hired to do. This means don’t pass other peoples work off as your own and being honest with your own skill set. I appreciate everyone needs to learn but don’t pass yourself off as an expert if you have no expertise.
2) Don’t lie. Pretty big one here but fundamental to building good relationships, establishing credibility and trust. I’ll tell you why it’s more important now more than ever, networks. If you have held a position in the past or are a great ‘consultant’ the likelihood is you’ll have a LinkedIn profile and maybe a Twitter account. Chances are so will the the people that you’ve worked with in the past and the online L&D / HR community isn’t THAT big. Think about it.
3) Divide & Conquer is NOT the best strategy when joining a new organisation in any capacity. The purpose of being a consultant is to consult with the people within the organisation and to understand what that organisation wishes to achieve and help them achieve it. If you want to achieve change and expect to be seen as a leader then don’t openly dismiss the collective experience of an entire team or ignore the subject matter experts you have access to, don’t think that those who talk the loudest are right and don’t be a bully.
4) Don’t push your own agenda. I think this is linked to the above point but don’t try and push the direction of a project in a particular way as it will grease the palms of your crony mates who have businesses.
5) Try listening to feedback, seems like a given for someone in a role like a ‘change agent’ or ‘transformation consultant” but when members of your team give you feedback on your conduct, style and approach it may be useful to listen and to take some sort of action and make a change.
6) Don’t use obvious delay tactics in terms of extending timelines or ‘playing safe’, you may think this is a clever move especially when you’re on great day rates however try not to make it so obvious or make it clear that you don’t rate the knowledge and skills around you and “wish to bring in your own team”.
All six points still resonate very strongly with me now, even two months since the “consultant” moved on to other things and didn’t have their contract renewed. Incidentally the person the consultant brought in who could actually do the job is still there (oh the irony).
So why does it still bother me now?
It bothers me because it didn’t have to be that way, we had a fantastic opportunity to do something special and we let it slip. I imagine that those of you who read this will also feel quite strongly about the points I’ve mentioned. Many of you maybe consultants and I’m sure you wouldn’t behave in this way in a million years and perhaps you’re even shocked, perhaps you’re not.
Before this episode I didn’t think that consultants like this existed, perhaps I was and still am a little naive. Having surrounded myself with a network full of people who seemingly do things the right way, I may have got blindsided and in actual fact this sort of behaviour is actually still rife. I don’t honestly think so and I’ve taken a lot from this experience, the main things I’ve learned are how NOT to do things. You learn from your mistakes, or other peoples so perhaps this has been more effective than learning HOW to do things……either way I’m stronger from this experience.
At times you do need to break a few eggs to make an omelette but beware of the “One Bad Egg”. The impact they can have should not be underestimated and they can leave a rather sour taste in your mouth.
Have you ever had to deal with one of these bad eggs?
Would be interesting in your thoughts on this or any related experiences you can share