“Help! Nobody’s Taking My Advice!”

He Fritz, 

I am consultant brought in to write automation. Part of job is to make or find tools, and doing research to help out client. After months of hard work none of what I’ve done or suggested is being used by any one. This is not my first time consulting, but it is first time I’ve been ignored so much. Is there anything I can do or ?

Danke,
[Frustrated in QA]

Hey Frustrated,

Yeah… it’s discouraging when this happens. What I’ve found over the years of working with people is that the “right answer” isn’t right just because it makes the most sense, or is the cheapest, or fastest solution.

And, it turns out a famous guy already made a quote which sums it up nicely:

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity. –Dale Carnegie

When I’m learning things, and seeing improvement, that’s a lot of fun. And then when I learn something, I want to share that with other people, because then they get the benefit too.

Problem is, I forget that they probably feel the same way too, and if I just hand them cool solutions that they didn’t figure out for themselves, they may not be as receptive.

It’s taken me a few years to understand, and then figure out how to apply, that quote above. Now, instead of plopping a solution in a client’s lap, I ask: how can I make it easier for them to find the solution themselves?

And I was going to be a huge hypocrite and flop the answer out, and then thought haha I probably shouldn’t do that. So instead, let me guide you with these questions:

  • If you’re almost done, do you want to wait and try a new approach at the next client?
  • Can you talk with key people and explain what you’d like to do differently and why?
  • Could you silently change tactics now whether people notice or not?
  • Are some professional relationships in trouble right now?

I think the solution’s in there, and you’ll find that you can soon influence people with things like this in mind.

Finally, I want to encourage you in that nobody’s perfect. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. But I will say too that as long as you’re learning something–about yourself, about the industry, about the practice–then you’re way ahead.

Hope this helps,

Fritz


Good consultants solve problems. Great ones create heroes. www.archdevops.com

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