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Internal Consulting Skills participants

"Excellent, I deal with business contacts daily and this has been a very valuable course" David Hodson, Business Process Specialist, BOC Gases UK

Internal Consulting Skills participants

"Lots of practical tips and tricks that can be put to use immediately. Extremely valuable and thoroughly enjoyed it!" Gwynne Harries, Business Project Manager, Vodafone UK


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Course Timetable

We run the Internal Consulting Skills course in-house as a 2-day programme.This is a fast-paced and highly concentrated learning experience and draws on the extensive practical consulting and change management experience of the course facilitators. The program is highly interactive and includes practical consulting case studies and simulations, and practical tips, tools and techniques to help you get even better results as in internal (or external) consultant and business partner.

The emphasis is on developing client management skills and the practical application of techniques. About two-thirds of the course is structured around a practical case study "simulation" that follows an internal consulting process from inception to completion. In the consulting simulation you will be working in a team of up to 8 participants, and each team will prepare for and run a series of meetings with our facilitator who role-plays a number of "client" managers. This ensures you will have the opportunity to participate directly in dealing with the "client" and developing your consulting skills and confidence. You will apply a number of consulting techniques and approaches and receive personal feedback from our facilitator to help you develop and practise the people-skills and relationship-building techniques essential to successful performance as a business partner and internal consultant.

Courses with up to 16 participants

For a course with up to 8 people, participants will work as one team on the main consulting simulation and skills development sessions. For larger courses (up to a maximum of 16 participants) participants will do their preparation for these sessions in 2 teams.

Each team in turn will have the opportunity to observe, analyse and then run a number of client meetings designed to illustrate the use of consulting skills and techniques and to allow participants to learn, practise and fine-tune the practical application of a range of techniques and approaches. The course facilitator (our consultant) will be the "client" in these meetings. This ensures each participant has the opportunity to receive personal feedback to help develop their consulting style and performance. Each of our tutors is a practising management consultant with a large client base and can draw on recent practical experience of handling real-life situations with clients.

Larger courses (up to 24 people)

We use a 2-day timetable for in-house courses. If you have a particularly large group (up to a maximum of 24 people) we can run the course over 3 days using a modified course structure: half the course (say, 12 people) attends the Day 1 timetable on the first day, the other half (the other 12 people) attends the Day 1 timetable on the second day, and the entire course (up to 24 people) then attends the Day 2 timetable on the third day of the course. This way we ensure that even on large in-house courses participants still have the opportunity to practise and receive guidance and feedback on their consulting techniques in small groups.

2-Day In-house Course Programme

Course times: We are flexible on timings. To make best use of participants' time we recommend we start at 8:30am and finish at 5:30pm each day.

1. The consulting process
  • What is consultancy?
  • Understanding client needs
  • The 7 Steps to a successful assignment
  • Nine important ways for you to ‘add value'
  • How and when to use ‘Expert' and ‘Process' modes

Internal Consulting skills - the consulting process

6. CASE STUDY: Initiating Change

Video & group work: review of a real change project where a real organisation learns from its mistakes by unsuccessfully attempting to introduce change (but without the necessary steps to engage stakeholders in the change process)

  • How to gain client commitment to action
  • Avoiding the 'not invented here' trap
  • Engaging business teams in the change process
  • How to overcome inertia and maintain momentum
  • Assessing your projects on the 14 Critical Success Factors
  • Applying a proven 5-Stage Change Model

Practical consulting simulation and skills development session in small groups facilitated by an experienced facilitator

  • How to manage successful initial client meetings
  • Establishing credibility and professionalism
  • 22 ways for you to run better intial meetings
  • 13 critical issues for the initial meeting and how to deal with them
  • The 80:20 rule and why you will fail without it
  • How to develop highly effective questions
  • Four powerful techniques to boost your active listening
7. CONSULTING SIMULATION: Presenting Recommendations

Practical consulting simulation and skills development session in small groups facilitated by an experienced facilitator

  • How to present 'bad news' without alienating your client
  • How to read and respond to your client's behaviour
  • The 'scapegoat' trap and how to avoid it
  • 20 ways for you to run better consulting presentations
  • How to present your findings for maximum impact
  • How to handle the tough questions
  • 6 effective ways to handle difficult people in presentations
  • Gaining your client's commitment to the next steps
3. Developing your Consulting Skills

Feedback & action planning: Review of Personal Consulting Style results

  • Benchmarking your consulting style against over 500 internal consultants
  • Using the Consulting Style Profiler to develop your business, client and self-management skills
  • Over 150 action steps to boost your effectiveness
  • Measuring your 'Emotional Intelligence' against our consulting benchmarks
  • 10 important ways to boost your 'Emotional Intelligence'

Personal Consulting Style Profile

Client Management

Reviewing & practising techniques: Discussing, reviewing and practising techniques with other course participants

  • Essentials of successful client management
  • Difficult situations and how to deal with them
  • A simple-but-effective 7-step process to help you say 'no'
  • Applying proven techniques to handle 'difficult' clients


Internal Consulting Skills practice

4. Consulting Tools & Techniques
  • How to use simple consulting tools collaboratively to diagnose the problem
  • How to involve your client in identifying solutions they will own
  • Using the Organisational Health Check, SWOT, Ishikawa and Force Field Analysis to influence your client
  • Using consulting models as powerful communication tools
Consulting Tools and Techniques
9. "MARKETING" and Positioning Yourself as a Business Partner

Discussion & action planning: Reviewing your team's current role and perceived value. Preparing a plan of action to re-position yourself and your team as a value-adding business partner

  • Moving from 'cost' to 'added value'
  • Mapping your client's needs
  • Identifying consulting opportunities to add greater value
  • Building powerful networks and sponsors
  • 30 practical ways to re-position your team as a business partner
  • Developing your 'marketing' action plan
5. CONSULTING SIMULATION: Information Gathering

Practical consulting simulation and skills development session in small groups facilitated by an experienced facilitator

  • The secrets of successful information gathering meetings
  • The confidentiality barrier and how to overcome it
  • 20 ways for you to improve your information gathering
  • How to deal with dominant people who are more senior
  • The keys to building rapport and overcoming resistance
  • Questionnaire surveys as a powerful information gathering tool
10. Personal Action Planning
  • Using the Personal Development Workbook
  • Developing your personal action plan

Personal Development Workbook