Critical Loyalty

Capable consultants not only provide good advice, but they also denken mit, think with. With the client about solutions, ideas, approaches to implementation. Therein lies the added value. That is why consultants are paid. Mitdenken, thinking with, however, also means thinking independently, including correcting or contradicting the customer.

A good consultant is not an order taker. Instead she knows when to challenge the customer, when to point out what is best for the customer, even when the customer does not recognize it, believe it or want to hear it.

Criticism and critique are in general positive in the German culture. To accept criticism, though, is not easy for anyone. Criticism can be interpreted as disloyalty, even though constructive criticism is in many ways the highest degree of loyalty. Criticism points out dangers, identifies ways to optimize, helps to make difficult decisions.

Germans are a direct people, including how they communicate criticism. But they also see it as their duty, as their responsibility, to point out to their colleagues, boss or customer what does not or will not work. Discreet conversations under four eyes which address critical issues is what capable consultants do. These conversations are a sign of loyalty and trust.

Kritische Loyalität. Literally critical loyalty, or loyalty which voices criticism, which address critical topics.