We win some and we lose some. We all learned this the hard way during the latest election. Now that the political stuff is over, let’s get back to business. If any good can come from the crazy that was this last election, it’s that we learned a few things that we can apply to being a good consultant.

 We don’t always win, and that’s okay. Things may not work out the way that you anticipated.  You may think that you have the support behind you, but you don’t. The same can be said of being a consultant. You may have a great idea, throw it out there, and people may not vote for it.  You weren’t successful. You lost and now you have to move on.  The next steps are what matters.  As a consultant, if you come up with a great plan or idea and it gets shot down, you have to decide how that will impact you. Where will you go next?

Another important thing that we can learn is how to get the opposing people to align moving forward. Now that you’ve had a bit of a battle, you still have to bring the people together.  Think about it this way – as a consultant, you are trying to help the business that you are consulting for to be successful.  If you have an idea that doesn’t go over well, or an issue that comes up in the office that divides people, you still have to come together at the end of the day for the success of what you’re trying to accomplish.

We are not always going to work with people who have the same opinions as we do. We have to be able to formulate plans and goals while effectively communicating with people who might think very differently than we do. Talking at someone that you disagree with vs. talking with someone to try to achieve something are two very different things.

Getting alignment is the only option. People don’t all have to agree on every issue, but at the end of the day we still have to move forward as one unit.  The end goal is what you should have in common. You may not agree on how to get there, and you’ll have to figure out how to be diplomatic about that, but the goal is still a common one.

Now that we’ve had some time to reflect back on the election, what parallels do you see between it and consulting? What will your take away be? What else do you think that we could learn from the experience? What are your thoughts? Comment below!