Monitoring Your Work with Your Consultant
As you continue through your change process, work with your consultant to monitor your organization's progress. You may wish to formally or informally survey staff or board members about their experiences with the consultant during training sessions or other activities, and communicate these experiences to the consultant. Solicit your consultant's input about how your organization is progressing and what he/she sees as your organization's strengths and weaknesses in terms of inclusiveness. Continue to work with the consultant to adjust trainings and other work to meet your organization's changing needs.
You might encounter obstacles in your relationship with your consultant. It is important that you actively consider the nature of your work with your consultant on a regular basis, monitoring performance and progress toward your organization's goals.
Potential obstacles include:
- Lack of communication.
- Failure to meet your stated needs and objectives.
- Poor fit between the consultant's style and your organization's style.
Prior to taking action, be sure to discuss problems with your consultant
It is possible that your consultant may simply not have understood what your organization needs or wants. You may wish to communicate both verbally and in writing, to avoid any potential confusion. Remember, however, that inclusiveness work is difficult and sometimes messy - this can influence perceptions of the consultant who is guiding you through this work.
If you are not able to remedy the situation, the final step may be terminating your relationship with your consultant, depending upon your contract.
Sources consulted on this topic:
- "How to Hire a Consultant," Connecticut Nonprofit Consultant Directory, www.hpfg.org/cdb/how_consultant.htm.
- "How to Hire and Work with Consultants," Consultants ONTAP, www.ontap.org/advice.html.
- "Guidelines for Choosing the Right Consultant." Nonprofit Management Solutions, Inc., www.nonprofitmgmtsolutions.com/guide/htm.
- "Working with a Diversity Consultant," Boston Diversity Initiative, http://www.diversityinitiative.org/.