Consulting Skills Reflector/Entry 3

As I sat through my initial contact meeting with my client, Blocks recommended questions came to mind: What do you want to discuss?, Who is the client for this project?, Who else will be at the meeting?  What are their roles?, How much time will we have?, Do you know that you want to begin some project, or are we going to discuss whether we do anything at all? To my surprise, the client was willing and able to give on the surface answers to these questions.  As the meeting progressed, I made a point to pay close attention to the client’s body language, as well as my own.  I found myself interested in what she was saying and became more engaged in the conversation.  This project really grabbed my full attention.

After reading Block’s chapters on Contracting which gave a thorough overview of the contracting process, the meeting, and the agonies of contracting, I feel more informed and confident on how I will proceed in conducting my actual contract meeting with my client.  Knowing that the contract will set the tone of the project is important and establishes a written agreement that is discussed between both the consultant and the client.  Thus, obtaining a written contract is significant, in that, it not only put words in writing, it is also a way to be explicit and provide clear communication of all expectations.  In closing the meeting, I will be mindful that it is important to ask for feedback and sum-up everything that we have agreed upon.

With that said, I look forward to completing what will be my first real “contract” with a client.  Thanks Tim and Jonathan for a great facilitation!  The checklist that you provided will be very helpful.