Updated: Jun 5, 2019
“...in thinking about these conflicts and paradoxes, forgiveness is required. No one can fully live accordingly to his or her believes. That is why we are called humans. In fact, that is why, in the first consulting act, God suggested to the Serpent that he chat with Eve. By eating the apple, she and Adam lost their paradise and gained their humanity and all the freedom and flaws that go with it.”
(Peter Block, Flawless Consulting, Second Edition, 1999)
I found this quote in one of the last chapters of the book and I thought it captures best its essence, without describing the content.
The book itself offers a practical framework for consultants (internal and external, small independent freelancers and big-box consultancies) for how to structure and execute their consulting engagements.
The most valuable part of the book, however, is Block’s insight on the importance of authenticity and emotional intelligence exercised by the consultant from the very first contracting meeting all the way to the feedback meeting and implementation. He goes in depth into describing the patterns of client behavior and their resistance and provides insightful, humanistic explanation for its source. I found it most profound and prophetic since the book was written (1981, first edition) way before the term “emotional intelligence” was coined.
He also warns consultants of the pitfalls and shortcuts they should not take, urging them to always take the high road and even say “no” if necessary.
Some of his chapters are a little verbose, but overall the book is a great read and definitely a keeper in my library for a future reference.