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Consulting -Getting That Extra Assistance

Consulting has long been used by business professionals as a way to get expert or informed advice and support on specific areas of concern. In businesses, companies, organizations, non-profits, groups and associations there is always the chance that conflict can arise. In these situations the actual management or resolution of the conflict may be most effectively done within the organization rather than having someone else from the outside act as the mediator, facilitator or group process manager. 

A consultant can work with anyone to help to develop a greater understanding of the issues, explore options for successful communication and interaction and even assist in designing and developing new policies or procedures to help address conflict or potential conflict within an organization. Just as a mediator, a consultant does not make any decisions nor do they advise the individual on any legal, financial or business matters. Rather the consultant works with the individual or team to help them understand what their options are, what are the best pathways for moving forward as well as exploring any possible risks or challenges in proceeding. 
Consultants may provide their own expertise in how to resolve conflicts internally or to avoid possible conflicts in the future. This may include giving workshops or providing research materials in easy to understand format for busy professionals. In some ways the consultant works as a mentor or in an informal coaching role, helping the individual to see the big picture and how it is best to proceed given their own unique situation within the dispute or their role within the organization. 

Companies often hire consultants in conflict resolution when setting up polices and procedures in the Human Resource area, or when planning a series of discussions designed to address issues within the workplace. Consultants may also work to determine what is the best structure for these challenging discussions and can also act as facilitators for these conversations. 
 
Not all people that use a consultant are in business. Consultants can also be used by:
  • Private individuals working through a conflict
  • Social or community groups that are trying to reach consensus or make difficult decisions
  • Church groups
  • Family disputes
  • Small businesses that don't have their own Human Resource Department
  • Managers and employee groups
  • Union leaders and members
  • Teams
  • Volunteer Organizations
  • Non-profit agencies
Consulting completed through Positive Communication is charged by the hour or through a pre-set monthly fee. Often consultancy is completed by phone or email after the initial sessions, which provides more flexibility for clients as well as helps to keep the costs within your budget. The consultant is not acting as a mediator and is not neutral, rather they are working towards the goals as developed and identified by the client around workplace climate, conflict resolution and promoting communication.

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