When I run workshops on consulting skills for internal consultants, the participants sit patiently and listen to lectures on “Saying No to a Manager,” “Confront Problems with the Manager as They Happen,” “Make Your Own Wants and Demands Clear,” and “Deal Directly with the Politics of the Situation.” Eventually someone in the back of the room raises a hand and says, “That’s easy for you to say. You’re an outside consultant. You don’t have to live inside the organization you are consulting to. We are internal consultants. If a line manager gets mad at us, we are in trouble. You just don’t understand what it’s like.”

I used to resist. I would say the issues are the same. They have to do the same things I do with ...

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