November 2023
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TD Magazine

Partner in Success

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Whether you are a consultant or you're working with one, consider your counterpart.

Recent years have taught society the importance of communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence. In "The L&D Consultant's Project Life Cycle," Amanda Van Der Heiden emphasizes how to consider the perspective on each side of an L&D manager-consultant partnership because such understanding improves the chances of project success.


Van Der Heiden outlines tasks for the pre-project, project, and postproject phases for both the consultant and manager. During the pre-project phase, for example, the team defines the scope so everyone understands project goals. The L&D manager can help the consultant by outlining expectations, protocol for unexpected challenges, and internal contacts in detail. The consultant must understand which people are involved in the project, both internally and externally.

During the project phase, involved parties should consider that:

  • People aren't mind readers; articulate your needs, wants, and preferences.
  • People are not machines; treat them with respect.
  • People need to have all the necessary information to feel confident they have what it takes to be successful.

If you've had a good experience, make sure to champion your counterpart following the project's completion.


These tips were adapted from the November 2023 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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