Serena, a follower of our weekly show, Coach’s Corner, asks: “What is the number one skill in your opinion that consultants can bring to their clients?”

Here’s my answer to Serena:

I think that most of the time, this is not a question of information. It’s not about how much information you can give your client, because information is everywhere.

There are millions of books around the Internet and you can find information in a second when you go online.

It’s never about information, because in my experience, it’s generally all about taking information and actually helping your clients to focus.

Most of the time, people who are open to the idea of having a coach or consultant to help them, have actually done research.

Usually, it’s people who have experience or who understand the value of having someone else helping them and generally this isn’t an issue of the amounts of information.

Presenting the right information at the right time

It can be an issue of the right information at the right time. If you look for books, you’re going to find millions of examples, but not all the books apply to your situation. The number one mission that consultants and coaches must have is to present the right information at the right time.

Let’s take health as an example. You’re helping people get healthier and your first client is 50 kilos overweight and you could provide them the information of interval sprinting uphill, but if they do that on day one, they’ll probably die, right?

It’s good information, but it’s not the right timing. In my opinion, the consultant and the service provider’s job is to bring focus to the things that need to be done now. After that first step, you can start with what needs to be done next.

You don’t need to come up with all these steps today. Every client’s situation is different. You can actually come up with these situations as the client progresses, but I think that the number one skill is helping the clients get focused.

If you can remove all the information they have, generally they will get better results. You just need to share the right information at the right time. I think this is the number one skill that consultants can bring to their clients.