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Although consultation is often regarded as getting a piece of advice from experts or experienced people, here we refer it as “a meeting to discuss something or to get advice” (“Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary,” n.d.). There might be many important points to have a professional consultation, however, I have listed here six important parts that are significant to have a better consultation.
The main goal of a consultation is to find out the best idea, not the best person.
Continuity even when there is Failure
When you consult with others, you get their ideas and present yours to reach a decision. The decision you take may sometimes fail. At this point, you may continue discussing the reasons behind the failure but should not stop consulting with your team just because the consultation ended in failure. Your idea as a team might have failed because of some reasons but not because you consulted with each other. In other words, failure should not prevent you to continue consulting with your team.
Ensuring Everyone’s Contribution
A good leader is the one who makes others move with him. It is highly important to get members’ ideas during a consultation. Even when an idea strikes you and you really want to go after it, get others’ support so you won’t end up working alone on your super idea. People as in their nature love doing something more when they think it is part of them. Try to make each member feels that the decision taken is their own idea. Let them think that they contributed and improved the idea. When they do so, you will see them all working with you.
Do you consult with others to make sure that everyone like and accept your idea? If it is so, then, do not waste your and others’ time, simply execute your idea. If not, then, value others’ ideas by thinking that you could be wrong or another idea may be better than yours. The main goal of a consultation is to find out the best idea, not the best person. Moreover, you, as the leader or the member of the consultation team, should be mentally ready to accept the majority’s idea even if you think your idea is the best one on earth. Don’t be obsessive and take the whole responsibility on yourself.
Discussion not Argument
Remember we already explained that the main goal of a consultation is to determine the best idea, not the smartest person. Please do not join a consultation for show-off. You are all there to discuss a topic and put forward your ideas to take a collective decision. Level of position should not matter when choosing the best option. You are there a chairperson, not a boss. Avoid unnecessary argument by making sure you present your idea shortly and clearly.
Your wording should be kind and concise.
Presenting your Idea
Most of us like everyone to accept our ideas or talk about them. When you express your idea, first, acknowledge others’ ideas and say you’ve come up with a different or similar one. Do not target a person but an idea when presenting yours because doing so would initiate an unnecessary argument. Your wording should be kind and concise. Make others feel that you are talking to make the consultation more fruitful and contribute to the ideas to ensure your team takes a wise decision. Do not damage your reputation by making offensive remarks when talking because you will later find people hearing you not listening. Kindness does not harm but rudeness does. So, do not ruin your original idea with bad wording.
When an idea is accepted, all the members of the consultation should try their best to support and execute it as good as possible. Criticizing a person or an idea after the consultation is a disrespectful behavior. Moreover, we should not reproach anyone even if the idea fails because it was a collective decision taken by everyone. Murmuring like ‘I’ve warned them’, ‘they did not listen to me’, ‘I knew it was going to be like this’, ‘they deserved this failure’ etc. are nothing but egoist expressions. Do not be a kind of person who implies that success is my achievement and failure is their incapability.