How Being Vulnerable Can Be A Best Practice (Part 2)

 In Blog

by Certified Church Consultant, Dr. Michael Rackley

A recap from Part 1, the naked service approach to consulting, applies to anyone who provides ongoing, relationship-based advice, counsel, or expertise to a customer, inside or outside of a company. Or better yet, it applies to anyone whose success is tied to building loyal and sticky relationships with the people they serve.

In this context “vulnerable” means to embrace uncommon levels of humility, selflessness, and transparency for the good of the client.

In Part 1, I listed and expounded on about 3 fears below that prevent us from building trust and loyalty with our customers, and how the principles of naked services and best practices allow vulnerable service providers to get rid of their fears and provide excellent services that will glorify Christ. The three fears are the following:

  1. Fear of Losing the Business (Give Away the Business.)
  2. Fear of Being Embarrassed (Asking Dumb Questions.)
  3. Fear of Feeling Inferior

Now, in Part 2, I’ll tackle several more fears that are challenging to Church Consultants below:

  1. Fear of Losing the Business (Tell the kind Truth.) The Bible says in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The example here given is a cultural difference, the “story was told of a New Yorker, who was having trouble working with his Southern colleagues. He was being too direct, on one hand in New York being direct made him more effective, and on the other hand, it intimidated his Southern peers.”

The consultant knew he had to speak to his client and “Tell the kind truth,” so the movie The Godfather came to mind, he said, “maybe you could be a little less like Sonny and a little more like Michael.” The consultant knew he needed to address the client, but in a way, he could hear.

  1. Fear of Being Embarrassed (Make Dumb Suggestions.) Have you ever made what is considered a dumb suggestion? It’s not only embarrassing it’s nerve-wracking.

However, naked service providers go beyond merely asking questions the others shy away from; they make suggestions that they aren’t sure of, knowing that they are putting themselves in a position to be even more embarrassed.

Why? For every seemingly dumb suggestion that turns out to be insightful, there are plenty that are in fact dumb. The principle is, without taking the risk of putting an idea out there, the good ideas will never see the light of day.

  1. Fear of Feeling Inferior (Make Everything About the Client.) Being fresh out of college many years ago, I worked in the movie service industry as an Electronics Technician. We serviced five-star hotels, depending on the location. In most cases their slogans were “The customer is always right,” and this probably encouraged the service staff to make this a high-level priority to customer service.

The naked service providers employ a strategy called “Make Everything About the Client.” This doesn’t diminish their experience, accomplishments, or level of expertise. However, they make it clear that their focus is on understanding, honoring, and supporting the business of the client. Also, this allows opportunities for clients to discover the consultant’s talents for themselves.

  1. Fear of Being Embarrassed (Celebrate your Mistakes.) In Proverbs 24:16 it says “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” NLT

We understand life is full of mistakes, and an opportunity to learn from them. The naked service providers understand this concept, although they don’t enjoy being wrong, they also understand it is inevitable. Here is a list of how to Celebrate your Mistakes.

  1. Don’t attempt to hide your mistakes or downplay them.
  2. Admit them (mistakes) and take accountability.

This increases the client’s level of trust and loyalty, because they don’t expect perfection from the service providers they hire, but they do expect honesty and transparency.

These best practices taken from the book Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni are foundational to customer service and a priority for church consultants that are new to consulting, or veteran consultants a reminder of who we’re serving the Body of Christ.

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