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Cautions, Considerations, And Solutions To Hire An Ideal Consultant

Written by: Yvette Durazo, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

In a competitive business landscape, organizations are to pay more attention to the harmful consequences of human conflict in the workplace. The fact of the matter is that internal conflict negatively impacts productivity and often leads to a toxic workplace environment.


Typically, there is a basic mechanism in place that organizations use to deal with these human issues. However, they are not sufficient or advanced enough to address the root cause of the problems. Besides, hiring consultants that can serve as neutral-third parties is a cost-effective way to address these types of problems in organizations.

Consultants are great resources to help organizations deal with and resolve problems, but not all consultants are specialists in the area of human conflict resolution and management. A good number of organizational issues stem from human conflict in the workplace. So, it makes sense to hire the right consultant for the job.


According to Harvard Law, conflict resolution refers to a formal or informal process that one or more individuals can utilize to find a solution to a specific dispute. Experts in the area of conflict resolution and conflict management are highly skilled and serve as neutral third parties that are specifically skilled in mediating, coaching, and providing training in organizational conflict management.


Modern-day organizational conflicts involve emotional and cognitive traps that require urgent conflict resolution so that organizations can move forward in the right direction.


Make Sure Not to Hire Inexperienced Conflict Resolution individuals


It is natural to lean toward consultants that have a great rapport. After all, everyone likes to work with people they like. In most cases, C-Suite executives hire a consultant that sees only their perspective and ignores the perspective of the rest of the organizational leaders and employees.


As a result, this leads to a one-sided version of a potential solution to many problems organizations may be facing. The last thing businesses need is to bring someone in with a narrow-minded approach and impatient personality. In fact, if the executive that hired such individuals possesses the same traits and personalities – then it is part of the organization’s main issue.


Now, in order to avoid long-term repercussions, organizations need to be more strategic and hire consultants that prioritize employees’ engagement, and leadership development and resolve rooted issues that stem from the human conflict that could be affecting the organization’s culture.


The approach to hiring the “right” consultant for the company should be to understand the severity of the issue and then opt to strategically hire a consultant that can bring holistic approaches to a practical solution. Instead of hiring a consultant that is like a “Tylenol” to alleviate the pain, the objective of the company should be to hire a consultant who can serve as a “vitamin” to the immune system of the organization. In short, it should be the person who can bring an innovative solution to the table rather than cookie-cutter approaches.


The Consequences of Hiring Consultants based on Rapport with Higher Organizational Leaders


You may not realize it but when you hire consultants that are just looking to form an alliance with the upper leaders, it can impact the foundational structure of your business. The main goal of these consultants is to make personal financial gain out of a situation that leads to disastrous repercussions for the company. Ultimately, it propels the company to utilize more resources rather than resolve the situation.


Organizations often fail to opt for a long-term or permanent solution. In most cases, inexperienced and narrow-minded consultants fail to grasp the root cause of the issues that an organization is facing. These consultants fail to support the organization to rebuild a positive organizational culture.

In the end, the company has to fix the redundant tactics set forth in motion by a consultant. In fact, you’d be surprised how often companies end up using a lot of effort and money to repair the damage of consultants. In some instances, no one notices these issues that spiral out of control. In layman’s terms, the bad choices of consultants can wreak havoc on any company.


Key Considerations and Solutions


Here are the most practical considerations you should follow before hiring a conflict resolution expert:


Take Preventative Measure


It is no secret that lax consultants often prioritize their needs over the company’s and the approach of the company should be to ward off this situation right from the start. In fact, the right course of action for the company would be to opt for a preventative measure.

The trick is to make sure the decisions of a consultant align with your company’s goals. This is one of the main reasons that makes the decision-making process integral and avoid consultants that propel you to use mountainous resources and effort to resolve an organizational conflict.


Lookout the Unprofessional Behavior and Incompetence of Hired Consultants


No company wants to spend its valuable time and resources on addressing an issue that should not exist in the first place. So, look out for the unprofessional and incompetence of a hired consultant. In an ideal sense, the solution lies in setting up an impartial committee to determine whether or not hiring a consultant would bring value to your organization and how he or she would address problems.


Also, make sure to set up a committee of people who are aware of the responsibilities, goals, and objectives of your company. In fact, assess the past performance and results of the consultant you want to hire and check whether or not they were able to prioritize the company’s needs and objectives.


Opt for Impartial Process


Objectivity matters and an impartial process to hire a consultant would pave the way for much-needed change in the quality of hired consultants. Make sure to avoid people who are not people-pleasers and cannot form a solid relationship with the company’s C-Suite executives.


This, in turn, will minimize the preconceived notion of favoritism or allegiance that a consultant may face. In hindsight, make sure the consultant offers innovative solutions and reinforces the entire system of your organization.


Avoid Buzzword Consultants


You should also avoid buzzword consultants who use only narrowed approaches such as personality assessments in combination with coaching. This, in a broad sense, represents the only solution to the plethora of problems the company is facing.


Fundamentally, coaching only works to mask the conflict rather than resolves it, if the coach is not properly trained in interpersonal conflict management. Mostly, this narrow-minded approach fails to spot the root cause of the problem. You should seek out and hire a consultant that prioritizes the system design process, has a critical approach and shows seriousness to push your company to new heights of success.


Review Testimonials


When it comes to hiring a consultant, take some time and review their testimonials. Your objective should be to make sure the testimonials demonstrate the effectiveness and impartiality of the consultant working with a wide range of organizations.


Determine from the testimonials whether or not the consultant offers a holistic and system design approach to address the organizational issues. You should also make sure multiple testimonials recommend the consultant to others and profess exceptional service and satisfaction.


In retrospect, make sure the consultant has the expertise, experience, and perspective to resolve internal issues of organizations. Check whether or not the testimonials find the consultant straightforward. Even when you do find a consultant ideal, make sure whether or not that consultant would offer compatible and practical contributions to your organization.


Final Thoughts


If the need to make growth-driven decisions lies on the shoulders of consultants who are solely concerned about their own gains then the business is bound to suffer. Ideally, the approach of conflict resolution experts should be to rationalize, empathize, and try to manage complex personalities in the workplace environment.


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Yvette Durazo, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Yvette Durazo, MA, ACC is the author of the book Conflict Intelligence Quotient (Conflict IQ™); The Missing Piece to Turbocharge Conscious Leaders’ and Organizations’ Emotional Intelligence. She is the founder and principal consultant at Unitive Consulting, a workplace organizational effectiveness, strategic conflict management, and leadership development firm. Some of her services included, training, mediating conflicts in the workplace, anti-bullying prevention, settlement negotiations, developing dispute system design, and bringing unique strategies to address the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workplace.


She is passionate about optimizing professionals and teams to engage in constructive problem-solving communication toward instilling respect, civility, and collaboration. She believes that human conflict is one of the most important things organizations must learn to work with and harness to overcome any derailing of employees’ performance and engagement. Her methodologies are like a vitamin that is the breath of life to the immunity of organizations.


Presently, Yvette is an instructor for the Human Resource Management Certification program at the University of California, Santa Clara Extension Silicon Valley. She also is an instructor for the University of California Davis, Conflict Resolution Program and teaches for Portland State University in the Conflict Resolution and Mediation department. She holds a PCC coaching credential from the International Coach Federation, a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Peacebuilding from California State University Dominguez Hills, and an undergraduate degree in International Business from San Diego State University. She is a former Core Adjunct Professor at National University, where she taught courses in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Communication for over six years, and a former Instructor for the Leon Guanajuato Mexico Institution Power of Justice. Yvette is fully bilingual in Spanish and has expertise in cultural diversity and inclusion.

 

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