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Five Habits of a Trusted Advisor – The Clients’ Perspective

Enlightened businesses today hire leadership consultants and executive coaches to help with their leadership development programs. However, increasingly a number of my clients now prefer me to help them in the role of trusted advisor rather than expert consultant.

This special partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration produces significant results.The role of trusted advisor is open, transparent and fiercely client-centered. Emory University distinguished Professor Dr. Jagdish Sheth offers the following powerful perspectives from clients.

Clients’ Perspective

1. The really good professionals ask great questions. Often, they enable solutions rather than supply them.
2. The best business advisors have a good understanding of my industry, but also breadth. Some of the best insights I have gotten have come from professionals who bring analogies from other fields.
3. Good professionals are great listeners.They hear what you mean, not necessarily what you say.
4. It is very tough finding ‘honest brokers’ who are unbiased and not pushing their own agenda with you. Everyone walks in here wanting something.
5. Our consultants always end the session with a half-hour presentation on ‘next steps’, the execution of which cannot, of course, be accomplished without the consultants. What I really value instead are working sessions, which advance our thinking.

Over a twenty plus year coaching and consulting career, I have found the trusted advisor role based on mutual respect and trust to be incredibly energizing. My clients don’t treat me as a vendor or dispassionate expert, but as someone who cares about their success at the deepest level of engagement.

The leaders I work with truly are often lonely at the top.Their ability to be open and transparent with me sharing their hopes and fears often leads to more comfort creating an organizational culture based on similar values.

I love that we can often discuss trends in other industries, politics, religion, art, music and other topics that inform the leaders’ personal and professional growth. Leaders appreciate working with a thought partner to develop good judgment, and gain clarity in their decision-making. Establishing unwavering trust is critical to this somewhat sacred relationship.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for senior leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Trusted Advisors help enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How might I benefit from working with a trusted advisor?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged.You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica.

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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