What are Hosts?
By Hosts I mean the role of actively managing the experience that guests or visitors have when they stay somewhere.
People used to tell me that I was a good consultant (of the management consultant variety). Over the last seven months more than eighty people have told me that I am a good host.
Therefore I wonder if this is a coincidence?
Or is it that these are just two different roles that I have enjoyed doing?
One of the services, that I really enjoyed providing in the past, was training core consultancy skills. We developed a tailored version of Elevation Learnings excellent generic course. Because we presented this so many times I can recall much of what we taught.
We taught that, to be a good consultant, you need to understand your client’s problem, preferably at least one level of abstraction higher than they have analysed it for themselves.
You should be able to do this through a combination of your analytical skills, breadth and depth of experience plus the insights that come from being one-step removed from their situation.
In my experience, to be a good Host, you need to understand what it is like to be in your Guests’ shoes. You need to have analysed the risks they are taking during their stay and to have assessed their capacity to deal with issues as they arise. You need to have thought creatively about how you can assist them such that the level of support outweighs the anxiety they are experiencing in their new situation.
One of the truisms that stays with me years after the ‘Change Agents’ Skills and Strategies’ programme is:
The difference between Anxiety and Excitement = the level of Support provided
Supporting your guests is not only an act of kindness but a practical way to exceed their expectations
I see plenty of overlaps in my approach to being a good management consultant and to being a good host:
Empathy – with client / guest
Kindness – support tailored to individual need
Creativity – driven by a desire to do something well
Empathy + Kindness + Creativity = Expectations Exceeded
Do all good management consultants make good Hosts? I think they could do if they share a common skill-set as I have suggested.
Could all good hosts make good management consultants?
Apart from the glib “Why would they want to?” answer..
…I suggest that ‘Hosting’ is only one of the capabilities that you need to be a good consultant and that there are other consultancy capabilities that are important too.
Key point: Hosts and Consultants appear to share a common skill-set. It may help us to perform better in either of these roles if we explore the differences we perceive between them.
I have ~15 hours a week which I can use to support people to understand and improve their business situation. I am now one of many established Hosts in Brighton & Hove. My rates for other work are quite reasonable. The first 15 hours in September are available at half-price. 🙂