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Crust Or Crumble

Crust Or Crumble

 28 July 2023  |    Tanya Veer

How important is it for consultants to balance affect and action in a relationship? When the scales are tipped, a consultant - client relationship can reach a spot of uncertainty and confusion quickly.

I was delegated the task to enroll my manager as a speaker at a major event and I had been sending out applications to at least 7 institutes hosting the event every day. I finally got a call from one of the institutions saying that they liked the idea we had sent in and would like to invite my manager as a speaker. We were elated at the prospect of speaking at the event as our idea would get a huge reach. I enthusiastically broke the news about getting accepted to my manager. Over the next week, I was calling the organizer, emailing him but with no response on his end, and all this one week before the event was about to take place. We had no idea if we should start preparing the script, explore more ideas or if the event was even going to take place. As the date got closer, we were more and more anxiety-ridden, and finally, just 1 day before the event, the organizer sent us the official invite.

Was our idea not good enough to be accepted as a talk, and was the organizer just saying yes because of his affable nature?

Either the organizer genuinely got tied up with too much responsibility at the university to revert back or he was not sure about us all through the process of organizing the event.

Reflections -
The organizer was only valuing the affective side of the relationship and parking the substance part of it for later. By being assuring on the phone and promising to send confirmations as soon as possible but never actually doing so, he was in the blind spot of viewing himself as responsible and reciprocative but actually giving us a frustrating collaborative experience.


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