Unpleasant as it can be, OD consultants can be appointed by someone to help someone else who either does not see the need for help and/or has no say in the identity of the consultant.
I have been appointed by owners, and more often boards, to work with managers who resent the very act of suggesting that they need help. And I have formulated a few guidelines for such situations which I am sharing in this post.
1 Acknowledge that awkwardness of the situation. I often use a metaphor that “I’m the guy that needs to do root canal and you don’t even see the need to visit a dentist”. Discuss the awkwardness as an issue.
2 Allow the person with whom you have been asked to work to cease the consultation at the drop of a hat.
3 Agree that all updates that you will give the folks who commissioned your services will be transparent-that is, your assessment will be shared a priori with the person with whom you are working.
4 Spend time cementing the relationship, Trade favours, create a feeling of “safety” and stick to your word.
5 If you think that your client and the person who appointed you are a system problem, then work with both of them as a system, or resign.