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tedibear's avatar

What interview questions would you ask of a leadership consultant?

Asked by tedibear (16274 points ) April 17th, 2011

My husband’s boss wants to have him work with a leadership skills consultant. Before he my husband agrees to this, he wants the opportunity to interview a few potential consultants/coaches. He’s fairly sure that his boss will let him do this.

Husband’s main concerns are:
1. That he “clicks” with this person. This way he will be more open to the process and any forthcoming suggestions.
2. He does not want a person who will take a “cookie-cutter” approach to the coaching process. He knows there are standard tests and processes beforehand such as the MBTI and 360 reviews, etc. but he wants the end result tailored to what his specific needs may be.

What questions would you ask to get answers to those concerns? And, what other questions would you ask?

Many thanks for any help you can provide!

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8 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Is this coach going to help your husband with his leadership skills or teach him how to coach others?

And what are MBTI and 360 reviews?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@gailcalled MBTI is Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. 360 Reviews are having supervisors, peers and direct reports fill out a survey on one’s management style. MBTI results are insightful, if explained properly, on a person’s personality. However, I firmly believe that they should not be shared with others due to the risk of being stereotyped, unless it is done with the whole team and a professional discussion is lead. A 360 degree survey allows the person to know how they are judged by co-workers from different roles. Both can be very insightful, if answered honestly by the people who take it.

@tedibear Having worked with several consultants hired to coach us on leadership/management skills, yes, there are times when one of us has preferred one over another because of their style. In all cases, I have yet to hear of anyone be concerned about their counselor. I take that back. There are a few people within the company who have been selected as ‘mentors’ that shouldn’t have been.

If this is an outside company doing the coaching, I would suggest that he talk to others who have been through the same program to see what insight they have to offer.

tedibear's avatar

@gailcalled – MBTI is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator . A 360 degree review is where one is evaluated by subordinates, peers and superiors. And now I see that @Pied_Pfeffer did an excellent job describing both!

His boss’s primary goal seems to be to have him learn leadership skills, which should include coaching. At least it has in my limited experience.

@Pied_Pfeffer – He is very concerned about being able to connect with the consultant. He doesn’t open up easily, so a connection with this person will be important. If he doesn’t feel that, he will close up and not be as open to the process as he needs to be.

If he asks for names of people who have completed the program, won’t the consultant be likely to give him only satisfied customers? It’s not going to be like reading a review on amazon where you can read everything from one star to five stars. No one at his company has been through this process before, so he can’t ask anyone there.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I was thinking more along the lines of asking co-workers that have been through the same process with the same company for their opinions on who worked well with them. Even if that is possible, it doesn’t necessarily result in same connection. It is going to come down to how open he is willing to be and in trusting the consultant.

What I am about to post might be construed as blunt, but it is based upon experience with working for the same company for 24 years and having too many supervisors that can possibly be counted. There are those that have great leadership skills…they are strategic and have a vision. Others have excellent management skills…they know how to get results by motivating others. The ones that have both are few and far between.

Then there is The Peter Principle. I will confess that I have succumbed to this on more than one occasion. I’ve watched others do the same. They get promoted due to their excellent record in the job that they are currently doing, and end up a management position without any training for the new set of skills that they need. They are conditioned, at least in the US, that it is important to move up the work ladder.

Have a heart-to-heart talk with your husband about what really makes him happy in the work environment. Help him identify what makes him happy and what he really doesn’t want to take on. It may not result in a promotion or pay increase, but if someone isn’t going to be motivated in a work position, then it becomes a potential 40+ hour-a-week job that brings them misery.

CaptainHarley's avatar

1. What value do you assign to relationship building in the business environment, and how would you go about improving it?
2. Give me some examples of your approach to problem-solving and explain your sources of information and guidance.

That should do it. : )

Response moderated (Spam)
gmander's avatar

I took this course and I thought it was really good. Each tutor has there own take on the topic and the guy that gave the course I attended was quite clear that you can only be a good leader if you want to go in the direction that you are expected to lead towards. If you truly are the leader, methods and techniques are secondary. If you find that methods and techniques are expected of you, then you are not a leader, you are a manager. The point of being a leader is that there is no one else in front of you to tell you where to go!

On that basis, a leadership consultant has to have been a CEO or Chairman of the Board at at least a couple of successful organisations. If not, pass.

tedibear's avatar

Many thanks to all who answered. Sadly, he just told me that his boss has already chosen someone and doesn’t think it’s necessary for him to be able to “click” with this person. Ah well…

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