Great Business Partners have a toolkit with tried and tested tools that can be used to help clients generate ideas, further their understanding and perhaps see a different perspective.
There are lots of new and unique tools to be explored. Our philosophy is to keep current by knowing what’s available, and also be discerning with what you use for different clients. The tools we use help us to understand our client’s need. The need is often not articulated, or it can be fuzzy and perhaps a symptom and not really the cause of the background issue. We use tools that help us to get to the core of the issue, so we can then offer the right advice.
The role of the Business Partner can vary in even one interaction. At times, you’ll be called upon to deliver or implement, to coach, to advise, or to collaborate. Your client may not know what they need from you in that interaction, so your job includes tapping into to those Business Partner superpowers and working out what your client needs at that point.
To do this requires asking the question of yourself, “What will best serve them now, that will set them up right for later?” The tools you use should fit the client from a culture perspective. Will it work in their team? Does it fit with how they normally work, communicate, and interact? There is humility in striving to learn first rather than know first. This sounds strange when you are the expert providing the advice, however, a great advisor will seek to understand fully and use tools thoughtfully to facilitate an outcome.