Respectful Engagement2018-09-19T01:25:59+00:00

Respectful Engagement

The Consulting Framework for Respectful Engagement is a useful tool for contracting and maintaining a productive and collaborative client/consultant relationship. It is primarily intended for consultants, although clients who want to proactively shape the relationship with their consultant will also find it helpful.

Organizational researcher Edgar Schein introduced the notion of process consulting over 50 years ago and compared it to expert consulting and the doctor-patient model as a way of highlighting how process consulting differs from the other more well-known approaches. In the 80’s Peter Block added the pair-of-hands model. While most consultants use a blended approach, being able to explain these distinctions can be very helpful when working with clients.

This framework can be used to explore how the dynamics of elevation, subordination, and even co-dependency might be playing out and getting in the way of the mutual respect, sense of empowerment, and reciprocity that are often essential to collaboration.

A respectful approach is essential in environments that are culturally diverse and fraught with social inequities. It is also important when addressing environmental and social challenges that require cross-sector and institutional collaboration. Even when the primary focus is on achieving business results, mutual respect and collaboration yield better outcomes.

Respectful Engagement

The Consulting Framework for Respectful Engagement is a useful tool for contracting and maintaining a productive and collaborative client/consultant relationship. It is primarily intended for consultants, although clients who want to proactively shape the relationship with their consultant will also find this framework helpful.

Organizational researcher Edgar Schein introduced the notion of process consulting over 50 years ago. He compared it to expert consulting and the doctor-patient model as a way of highlighting how process consulting differs from the other more well-known approaches. Others added to these comparisons over time. In the 80’s Peter Block added the pair-of-hands model. While most consultants use a blended approach, being able to explain these distinctions can be very helpful to the client.

This framework can be used to explore how the dynamics of elevation, subordination, and even co-dependency might be playing out. It also is useful for assessing whether or not these dynamics are in the way of achieving mutual respect or are undermining the sense of empowerment and reciprocity that are often essential to collaboration.

This kind of respectful approach is essential in environments that are culturally diverse and fraught with social inequities. It is also important when addressing environmental and social challenges that require cross-sector and institutional collaboration. Even when the primary focus is on achieving business results, mutual respect and collaboration yield better outcomes.