The Secrets of Consulting
The Secrets of Consulting
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$9.99
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The Secrets of Consulting

Last updated on 2014-07-09

About the Book

Here's a few of the many five-star reviews of The Secrets of Consulting:

This is a wonderful book. The paperback version has been a valuable resource for many years. - Keith Pitty

I love this book for so many reasons not related to consulting. I think it's a fantastic book on the secrets of effective communication, tips and tricks when trying to complete a task with another human being and on just being a better human.. I think everyone should read this book. I've given it to people in many different fields, some having nothing to do with software, consulting etc. It's a must have in any library! - Marjie C.

In contrast to many other books with promising titles such as "how to XYZ in 21 days" or "Succeeding with XYZ", this book really does stand up to the promise of providing the "Secrets of consulting" (or at least some of them).Chapter after chapter Jerry Weinberg unveils the principles and truths behind being a successful consultant. He does this in a humorous and appealing ways, using stories and examples from multiple domains, making this book not only informative and educational, but also a fun experience for the reader.

Since the very beginning of this book, I got a feeling that I could trust what the writer says (writes), and as I continued to read on, This trust had increased more, even when some of things written are a hard to implement and require self discipline and character, I do believe that by following the principles offered I can (and will) be a better consultant and of a better service to my customers. I could already detect myself using some of the stuff without deliberate intention.

I would claim that this book is a must have in every consultant's library.The only regret I have about reading this book, is that I haven’t done it 5 years ago. - Elad Sofer

I am enjoying this book. While I look forward to applying these rules in my work as a Test Lead, I think they will also help in my interactions with consultants in my workplace.  This is a very thought provoking book written in a humorous style. I only wish I have read it before I tried to be a consultant myself.

For me, a recently started consultant, this book provides a font of knowledge and experience very useful. As it is says in the book, the book itself is a kind of a consultant in paper.

Not being a native English speaker, sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself to read books in English (except for educational materials required for my professional development). However, this book had been continuously recommended by my most trusted friends, so I decided it is worth making an effort -- and never regretted.

First, it is one of the most in-depth and comprehensive books on psychology of consulting written by non-psychologists.The exquisite art of giving out advice, while respecting the decision maker's sensitive ego and fragile self-esteem, is almost extinct nowadays. The ability to accept advice without anxiety or offense and apply it effectively is also a rare talent. Under these conditions, consulting becomes a misused and undervalued marginal practice.

As a client:- Have you ever quietly stewed, as those smarty pants claimed that they can teach you how to manage the problems which had plagued your business or your life for many years?- Have you ever envied those megabucks the consultants get just for blabbering and giving out commonsense advice?- Have you ever thought their hourly pay is a racket, because under such conditions they are not interested in solving clients' problems?

As a consultant:- Have you ever woken up in cold sweat screaming: "OMG, everything is wrong! My whole life is one big mistake!"?- Or have you ever wanted to see your clients as a captive audience, forcefully exposed to all that good, wealth and happiness you intended to bring them?This book will lighten your burden, really. It will be helpful and inspiring for those new to consulting, but also will cheer up and comfort the experienced consultants.

Second, this book provides handy framework for thinking about consulting and your own role in it, your personal input, achievements, failures, expectations and so on, as a complex system. Thus, it enables further re-evaluation of personal experience and the exploration of new ways to apply it to your consulting practice.

Third, I certainly cannot overlook an important bonus: this book seemed very kind and funny for me. I don't know whether it is a benefit worth mentioning, but this book left me in a much better mood, yeah.

Finally, to those studying English as a foreign language -- tons of nice idioms served in a comprehensible context are awaiting you in this book! - Natalia Zhdanova

I think this is the fourth (or possibly fifth) copy of this book I've purchased. I normally, with great fervour in fact, hoard my books; oh I'll quite willingly point to where I think "the great stuff is" but my copy? No way. For some reason it's been different with this book since I purchased my first copy sometime almost three decades ago. I've thrust it into the hands of people who I thought needed. And I guess they did - for I never got the copies back! I know I have a paper copy (still my first love) in my library but I JUST HAD to purchase the lean pub version so now, as I start to read it for at least the seventh time (I know I read a couple of my copies a couple times), I will have it with me always.Thank you, Gerald M Weinberg for the Raspberry Jam. - David HC Soul

Table of Contents

  • The Secrets of Consulting
  • Preface
  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1. Why Consulting Is So Tough
    • SHERBIE’S LAWS OF CONSULTING
      • There’s Always a Problem
      • The Ten Percent Promise
      • The Ten Percent Solution
      • It’s Always a People Problem
      • Marvin’s Law
      • Never Forget They’re Paying You by the Hour
      • The Credit Rule
      • The Lone Ranger Fantasy
      • The Fourth Law of Consulting
    • THE LAW OF RASPBERRY JAM
    • WEINBERGS’ LAW OF TWINS
      • After Rutabagas, Then What?
      • The Hard Law
      • The Harder Law
      • The Hardest Law
  • Chapter 2. Cultivating A Paradoxical Frame Of Mind
    • WHY PARADOX?
    • OPTIMITIS AND THE TRADEOFF TREATMENT
      • Tradeoff Charts
      • The Tradeoff Treatment
    • TIME TRADEOFFS
      • Now Versus Later
      • Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem
      • Risk Versus Certainty
      • The Third-Time Charm
    • THE ORANGE JUICE TEST
  • Chapter 3. Being Effective When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing
    • THE PROBLEM WITH SPECIALISTS
      • The Elephant in the Boardroom
      • Out of Your Depth
    • MARVIN’S MEDICAL SECRETS .
      • The First Great Secret
      • The Second Great Secret
      • The Third Great Secret
      • The Fourth Great Secret
      • The Fifth Great Secret
      • The Sixth Great Secret
    • FEATURING FAILURE
      • The Bolden Rule
      • The Bolden Rule in Consulting
      • Featuring Your Own Failures
    • FAKING SUCCESS
      • Newspeak
      • The Gilded Rule
      • The Inverse Gilded Rule
      • The Gilded Consultant
  • Chapter 4.Seeing What’s There
    • THE LAW OF THE HAMMER
      • Inventing a Tool to Improve Vision
    • THE STUDY OF HISTORY
      • A Long, Yeasty Story
      • The White Bread Warning
      • Boulding’s Backward Basis
      • Sparks’s Law of Problem Solution
      • Study Guides
    • THE WHY WHAMMY
      • How to Dress a Consultant
      • The Endless Supply of Reasons
    • SEEING BEYOND THE CONSPICUOUS
      • The Bigness Is Not the Horse
      • The Label Law
      • Maintenance Versus Design
      • The Misdirection Method
      • The Three-Finger Rule
    • THE FIVE-MINUTE RULE
  • Chapter 5. Seeing What’s Not There
    • MISSING TOOLS
    • REASONING FROM WHAT ISN’T THERE
      • The Level Law
      • The Missing Solution
      • The Missing History
      • The Missing Request for Help
    • HOW TO SEE WHAT ISN’T THERE
      • Be Aware of Your Own Limitations
      • Use Other People
      • Investigate Other Cultures
      • Use Laundry Lists
      • Check the Process
    • ON BEING RIDICULOUS
      • Why I Stopped Being a Professor
      • Weinberg’s Law of Fetch
      • The Rule of Three
    • LOOSENING UP YOUR THINKING
      • Look for Analogies
      • Move to Extremes
      • Look Outside the Boundary
      • Look for Alibis Versus Explanations
      • The Emotional Component
      • The Incongruence Insight
    • BROWN’S BRILLIANT BEQUEST
  • Chapter 6. Avoiding Traps
    • STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE
    • LAWS, RULES, AND EDICTS
      • A Mysterious Christmas Gift
      • Triggers
      • The Main Maxim
    • THE ART OF SETTING TRIGGERS
      • The Potato Chip Principle
      • One-Liners
      • The Titanic Effect
      • Triggering on Natural Events
    • BUILDING YOUR OWN BELL SYSTEM
      • Attached Notes
      • Tally Cards
      • Physical Devices
      • Other People
      • Signals
      • Mutual Trigger Pacts
    • USING YOUR UNCONSCIOUS MIND
      • The Songmeister
      • Limits to the Unconscious
      • Watching the Inside of Your Head
  • Chapter 7. Amplifying Your Impact
    • THE CONSULTANT’S SURVIVAL KIT
    • KEEPING AHEAD OF YOUR CLIENTS
    • JIGGLING STUCK SYSTEMS
      • Getting Stuck
      • The Jiggler Role
      • Stuck by Overload
      • Stuck Communication
      • Opportunities to Jiggle
      • The Law of the Jiggle
    • TEACHING THE BLIND
      • The Elephant
      • Changing Perceptions
      • The Hippopotamus
      • Changing Awareness
      • Seeing Internal Behavior
      • Seeing Feelings
      • THE POWERFUL CONSULTANT
  • Chapter 8. Gaining Control of Change
    • WEINBERGS’ LAW INVERTED
    • PRESCOTT’S PICKLE PRINCIPLE
      • Beating the Brine
    • THE FORCES OF CHANGE
      • Homer’s Rule
      • The Most Powerful Force for Change
      • Romer’s Rule
    • CONTROLLING SMALL CHANGES
      • A Change That Makes No Difference
      • The Fast-Food Fallacy
      • The Strong and Unrelenting Force
      • Ford’s Fundamental Feedback Formula
    • THE WEINBERG TEST
      • Measuring Effectiveness
      • Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
  • Chapter 9. How to Make Changes Safely
    • PANDORA’S POX
      • My Pox
      • The New Law
      • Pandora, Archetype of Change
      • The Worst Affliction
    • LIVING WITH FAILURE
      • The Dealer’s Choice
      • Accept Failure
      • Trade Improvement for Perfection
      • Apply The Rule of Three
      • Invent a Backup
    • PREVENTIVE MEDICINE
      • The Edsel Edict
      • Choosing Your Time and Place
      • The Volkswagen Verity
      • The Time Bomb
    • RHONDA’S REVELATIONS
      • Crisis and Illusion
      • The Struggle to Preserve
      • Illusions Only Make It Worse
  • Chapter 10. What to Do When They Resist
    • APPRECIATING RESISTANCE
    • GETTING THE RESISTANCE OUT IN THE OPEN
      • Your Reaction
      • Their Action
    • NAMING THE RESISTANCE IN A NEUTRAL WAY
      • Waiting for a Response
      • Dealing with Questions
    • LOCATING THE NATURE OF THE RESISTANCE
      • A Buffalo Story
      • The Buffalo Bridle
      • A Dog Story
      • A People Story
      • Work Together to Discover the Source
      • Find and Test Alternative Approaches
    • PREVENTING RESISTANCE
      • Reducing Uncertainty
      • Getting Out of the Way
  • Chapter 11. Marketing Your Services
    • HOW CONSULTANTS GET STARTED
    • THE LAWS OF MARKETING
      • The Right Amount of Business
      • The Best Way to Get Clients
      • Exposure Time
      • How Important Are You?
      • Big Clients
      • Lynne’s Law of Life
    • MORE LAWS OF MARKETING
      • Satisfied Clients
      • Giving It Away
      • The Duncan Hines Difference
      • Doing Nothing Is Doing Something
    • MARKETING FOR QUALITY
  • Chapter 12. Putting a Price on Your Head
    • SEX AND THE FIRST LAW OF PRICING
    • IMAGE AND THE SECOND LAW OF PRICING
    • MORE THAN MONEY: THE THIRD LAW OF PRICING
    • ALTERNATIVE FEES, THE FOURTH LAW OF PRICING
    • NEED FOR MONEY AND THE FIFTH LAW OF PRICING
    • FEE AS FEEDBACK: THE SIXTH LAW OF PRICING
    • FEES FOR SPECIAL EFFECTS AND THE SEVENTH LAW OF PRICING
    • NEGOTIATION AND THE EIGHTH LAW OF PRICING
    • THE PRINCIPLE OF LEAST REGRET: THE NINTH LAW OF PRICING
    • FEE AS FEELING: THE TENTH LAW OF PRICING
  • Chapter 13. How To Be Trusted
    • IMAGE AND THE FIRST LAW OF TRUST
      • Price Versus Trust
      • The Value of Explanations
    • FAIRNESS AND THE SECOND LAW OF TRUST
    • LOST TRUST AND THE THIRD LAW
    • TRICKS AND THE FOURTH LAW OF TRUST
    • WHO’S LYING? THE FIFTH LAW OF TRUST
    • PROTECTION AND THE SIXTH LAW OF TRUST
    • HONESTY AND THE SEVENTH LAW OF TRUST
    • PROMISES, PROMISES, AND TWO MORE LAWS OF TRUST
    • CONTRACTS AND THE TENTH LAW OF TRUST
    • TRUST AND THE GOLDEN RULE
  • Chapter 14. Getting People to Follow Your Advice
    • ROOTS
    • LESSONS FROM THE FARM
  • Readings and Other Experiences: Where to Go If You Want More
    • EFFECTIVE THINKING
    • WORKING WITH PEOPLE
    • COUNSELING
    • MEETINGS
    • HANDLING RESISTANCE
    • THE FAMILY MODEL
    • EXPERIENTIAL (LABORATORY) TRAINING
    • TRUST
    • THE CONSULTING TRADE
    • THE CONSULTING BUSINESS
    • PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
      • The Journal
      • Continuing Education
      • Happiness

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About the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/4eudqk5.

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

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