Which approach would you choose in a relationship with a consultant – or any other provider of professional services? Which do you think they would choose?
Based on a few decades of experience, on both sides of the table, I believe that cooperative is usually better than adversarial; that “mutually beneficial” is better than “beating them.”
Let’s assume you’ve found the “right” consultants to help you with the issue you’re addressing. You believe they’ve got the experience and expertise that you need. You trust they’re looking out for your best interests. Do you want to control the relationship? Do you think they should want to control it?
The consultants will bring experience and expertise to help resolve your issue. You’ll bring currency (real money) and the potential of a reference -- if not future work.
The best relationships are based on a tacit understanding that both parties are bringing something valuable to the table and – that by working together in a cooperative fashion – both will benefit by the exchange of the value that each brought.
If you’re not working cooperatively – in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect -- with your consultants, you may want to reconsider your options.