Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Working again!

I arrived in Baltimore yesterday and will be here until tomorrow night. I will be back here all week next week as well. It's strange going back to not only working again, but back to the standard consultant habit of working at night when you get back to the hotel room or getting up at 6 am to work.

So when I got here yesterday, one of the project leads pulled me into a meeting that was already going on so that I could meet some people. This included the system CFO and a couple of other directors of this huge health system. The CFO was on the phone via conference, and while this project lead was introducing me to him, he said something like "she is much better looking than I am so you'll enjoy working with her".

Um? Can I just say WTF and completely inappropriate? I was kind of embarrassed but more embarrassed for him because I think the other people in the room were thinking "huh?" as well.

The interesting thing about consulting is that you get put on a wide variety of projects with a wide variety of project directors and principals. It's an opportunity to see a wide variety of facilitation, leadership, and communication styles, both good and bad. You get to see how you should or should not run things in 5-10 years time.

I've been with several meetings now with the other project lead (not the one from yesterday), and while she is incredibly brilliant and has a wealth of information in this space, she is not very good at listening to the client. She also is not great at asking clear and direct questions. Her questions run 5 minutes where she adds in all this side information so you've forgotten what her original question even was.

So what have I learned so far? Don't comment on colleagues physical appearances, how not to communicate with clients, and that this area has good sushi. Good lessons, eh?

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