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Internal Consultancy / Business Partnering Skills

Internal Consultancy

For information on our Open Programme please scroll down. 

Organisational changes are leading to a shift away from traditional roles and expectations and the terms business partner and internal consultant are becoming the norm in a host of major organisations service departments, from HR to IT, Finance and Engineering.  More and more service department professionals are now expected to make the change from a reactive, expert based role to one where being pro-active, collaborative and jointly solving problems are key.

Internal Consultants are increasingly being expected to proactively manage change and to seek out ways to help line managers maximise effectiveness.  This shift creates a whole set of different demands on service department professionals and requires a new set of skills and working methods.  Collaborative working and strong relationships are essential.  As internal consultants, they bring a different, objective perspective that seeks to question assumptions, re-define problems, and transfer knowledge to internal clients or colleagues.  This helps clients develop their effectiveness and organisational performance.

Effective internal consultants can contribute enormously to departmental and organisational success.

We design tailored modular programmes with a range of elements to suit the precise needs of our service department clients.  Our 3 day internal consultancy skills programme is always the core of any broader programme, but can also be run as a stand alone basis. Please click 'Internal Consultancy Skills' on the sidebar to the right for more details.

Clients often choose to supplement the core internal consulting skills programme with a number of one or two day programmes:

  • Coaching Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Persuasive Presentation
  • Influencing Skills
  • Handling Challenging Conversations
  • Advanced Consulting - tools & techniques
  • Advanced Strategic Partnerships
  • Facilitation Skills

Open Programme


4 Fitzroy Place, Glasgow, G3 7RH
£749 + VAT    
Book now

*subject to numbers

 A 3 day programme for service department professionals

The Programme's core principles are:

  • Your right to be in the room
  • Balancing technical expertise with relationship
  • Building a practical 7 step consulting process

Who this course is for

This programme is for HR, OD, IT, Finance, Legal and other service department professionals who need to work collaboratively with others to problem solve, transfer knowledge and increase capacity and productivity; in other words, as internal consultants.

The underpinning principles of the programme are:

  • The critical importance of helping internal consultants examine and address their mindset and role clarity.  We use the phrases 'the right to be in the room' and 'critical friend' and we discuss how to operate from this basis throughout the programme.
  • High performing service department professionals have both technical expertise and also the softer skills of influencing and building relationships.  The ability to bring the macro level commercial and technical issues to life for their 'clients' and to facilitate effective decision making requires the ability to listen, interpret, negotiate and challenge.

Programme Content

The programme is very practical and highly participative with considerable use of case studies, exercises, role-plays and discussions.  These are tailored to suit the groups' needs and situation.  It is structured in such a way that it provides you with a toolkit that can be used as soon as you are back in the workplace.

The programme examines the capabilities, procedures and processes that are needed to become an effective Internal Consultant.  It is based around the 7 stages of the consultancy process from being clear on roles, establishing a contract with the client, information gathering, diagnosis, feedback, implementation and follow through to check that outcomes have been achieved.  Throughout the programme the key skills and techniques needed to implement these 7 stages effectively are covered e.g. recognising and overcoming resistance, problem solving, building relationships and influencing without authority.

Programme Duration

The programme is run as a 2 day Part 1 and approximately 6 weeks later, a 1 day Part 2.  The time between the two parts allows for practice and then a review and consolidation of learning on the follow up day.

Programme Objectives 

  • Explore how to conduct yourself as an internal consultant or business partner to build relationships and achieve results
  • Learn easy to follow, practical tools and a 7 step internal consultancy process for collaborative problem solving
  • Learn how to create a meaningful and helpful internal consulting contract
  • How to conduct conversations for effective data collection, feedback and getting to action
  • How to use a variety of questioning styles
  • Learn skills to build rapport and handle challenging people and situations
  • Practice techniques to influence and persuade without authority
  • Identify and practice approaches to overcome resistance
  • Examine the approaches and skills to consult with and facilitate groups


Benefits in attending this programme

You will gain:

  • Strengthened relationships with colleagues and internal clients which enable greater participation
  • Increased confidence in yourself and where you add value in your role

Your organisation will gain:

  • Improved productivity of project teams and meetings and better, more collaborative decision making
  • Greater capability for solving issues at their root cause and finding effective lasting solutions


What others thought

IC Skills Testimonials


Read our blogs relating to this subject

Blog - How business partnering skills can add value to HSE Management

Blog - 10 Top Tips for Success as a Business Partner



Internal Consultancy Skills - Case Study

Click here for an example of how we structured a programme for Finance Business Partners at The Department for Work & Pensions. 

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