As consultants our work has lots of variables and stakeholder perspectives. We have to sort through, and make sense of facts and opinions. Then navigate organisational politics and make useful recommendations.
In these complex situations our advice can get lost. Particularly if we over-complicate our language and aren’t direct enough.
Finding the right tone can be hard, but it’s not impossible.
Listen to Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, our deputy chief medical officer. You’ll see how his straight-talking style has built the nation’s confidence in vaccination.
He uses everyday, relatable metaphors about football and yoghurt. And personal affirming directives, like what he’s told his mum about getting a jab.
Simple, direct messages work best for clients who are stuck, and looking for direction.
If you have times and situations when your advice gets ignored, or diluted, here’s a format you might like to try. Keep it simple, let the client know:
- These are the options.
- This is my recommendation.
- Here’s why.
You’ll be serving clients better when they ‘get it’. Who knows? They may even follow your advice.