Coconsulting is a process for two people to exchange help with each other effectively.
The simplest method is for two people to decide a time, say half an hour each way, and who will go first. One person talks about an issue, problem, experience or hope that is real to that person (the “client”). The other person (the “consultant”) listens, pays attention and helps the client make progress with her/his concern. How you give and receive help is up to the two of you. Then the participants have a brief review to identify what the consultant and client did that was helpful and any way you can improve your work. The two parties then swap roles and continue as above.
The “rules” are very simple but you must follow them if this method is to work.
Keep to your agreement on time or one person will feel exploited.
As a consultant keep your attention on the client’s concerns or he or she will feel let down.
Use a method of helping that is appropriate to the issue and acceptable to the client
Have a clear agreement about confidentiality before you start and stick to it.
Uses and Benefits
|You can use coconsulting to||The benefits of doing this are|
|Help someone think through an issue||You can build a relationship, solve a problem and understand someone.|
|Get another perspective on a problem from outside||You can find a new way through an issue.|
|Help people help each other on courses and in the wider organisation.||You will build a supportive organisation where people develop their helping skills|
|Increase the value of meetings and teamwork when people feel stuck.||Making better use of people’s time and energy.|
|Build closer relationships with almost anyone.||You will learn a great deal and have a more enjoyable and influential life.|
For a longer article on coconsulting, click here.