12 Basic Principles of Consulting Activities

We will discuss basic principles of consulting activities here.The “Principles of Logistics Consulting and Operations  are structured in a total of ten principles:The main goal of the consulting activity is to help solve the client’s problems , therefore the service staff should fulfill their duties, like doctors, following the voice of conscience, striving to ease the client’s position as much as possible, developing and proposing ways out of the predicament that best suit the client’s wishes taking into account the development goals of the social group to which the client belongs, as well as the society as a whole.

The following can be classified as one of the most general principles of consulting activity that should be followed:

  • openness – information and consulting assistance should be provided to any client who has applied for help and is a representative of the target group, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, religion, social status, political views, citizenship and other factors;
  • independence, objectivity and scientific nature of information and recommendations distributed by the service and consultants;
  • confidentiality in relations with the client;
  • adequacy – the work of the service should correspond to the situation in the region and the capabilities of clients, it applies the methods of work and technologies that are tied to a particular locality;
  • availability of stable feedbackwith customers (population);
  • achieving the goals of the advisory service should occur within the framework of the legal policyand not contradict it;
  • the service should be structured in such a way that it has the ability torespond flexibly to changes in state and local policies and the needs of rural producers and residents;
  • constant interactionwith other organizations involved in the development of the area;
  • prevention of conflicts of interestresulting from changes caused by the activities of the service, and their management.

It should be noted the crucial role of the consultant in the activities of the service. The consultant bears full responsibility for his decisions and actions, using all the achievements of science and practice known to him, therefore he should be systematically and professionally improved.

When providing assistance, the consultant should be guided solely by the interests of the client. Motives of personal gain should not influence the making of a professional decision. In particular, the consultant should not accept incentives from manufacturers and distributors of means of production (agricultural equipment, chemicals, etc.) and others like them, much less work as their representative or perform for them for a reward services to promote their products among customers. The consultant also cannot engage in any other activity if it is incompatible with the professional independence and goals of the institution in which he works. Unethical self-promotion is unacceptable by diminishing the merits of colleagues or competitors.

The duties of the consultant include actively promoting the dissemination of the latest scientific knowledge and other information that contributes to the development of clients and their communities.

The consultant is responsible for the quality of the advice provided and the information provided to them. In his work, he must choose those solutions and methods that he deems most effective in each particular case, guided by the interests of the client.

If the consultant, assisting, understands that finding a solution to a client’s problem is beyond his competence or capabilities, he should immediately inform the client of this, trying to minimize the client’s losses that he may suffer in this regard. In addition, the consultant may refuse to work with the client if he finds that there is no necessary mutual trust between him and the client (if it is a necessary condition for successful analysis of the problem and the implementation of measures to solve it) if he feels insufficiently competent or does not have necessary for successful work with the client.

The consultant may not publicly cast doubt on the professional qualifications of the client, another consultant or specialist or in any other way discredit them. If professional comments to someone’s address are necessary, then they must be made in non-offensive form and reasoned. At the same time, actions aimed at protecting the honor of the uniform and harming the interests of the client cannot be justified.

As well as the doctor, the consultant should not expose the client to undue risk, especially to use their knowledge for inhumane purposes. When choosing options and methods of solution, the consultant should be guided by the commandment “Do no harm.” Since the client has the right to comprehensive information about the real state of his affairs, revealed by the consultant during the analysis or in another way, the consultant is obliged to honestly and fully inform the client of this kind of information. But if in the course of rendering assistance to a client, information constituting official or professional secrets was used, the consultant may not communicate this information to the client, having tried, if necessary, to explain to the client the reasons for his actions.

Naturally, the consultant should respect the honor and dignity of the client and people close to him, treat him favorably, respect his political, religious views, the right to personal secrets.If an error is made or reasons arise that impede effective counseling, the consultant should inform the institution where he works and the client about this and try to find the best way out of the situation.A consultant should work with a client only under his own last name, without using a pseudonym and without specifying unassigned official titles, degrees, ranks.

by Abdullah Sam
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