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The Trusted Advisor

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  3,753 ratings  ·  223 reviews
Bestselling author David Maister teams up with Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford to bring us the essential tool for all consultants, negotiators, and advisors.

In today's fast-paced networked economy, professionals must work harder than ever to maintain and improve their business skills and knowledge. But technical mastery of one's discipline is not enough, assert worl
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 9th 2001 by Free Press
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Iscritto Iscritti Absolutely valid ! I imagine it's even more useful now than 20 years ago, because everyone is now talking of "agile", "collaboration" etc. so often fo…moreAbsolutely valid ! I imagine it's even more useful now than 20 years ago, because everyone is now talking of "agile", "collaboration" etc. so often forgetting the basics of a professional firm (that you will find here).(less)

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Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for consultants and advisors. It explains that getting hired and rehired is about earning trust, and walks through many ways to build trust. There are plenty of real-world examples from the authors, three experienced consultants.

It’s logically organized, and I like how often lists are used.

My favorite points
• Act as if you're advising your parents, not your children.
• Manipulate the client’s emotions without being manipulative.
• Socializing isn’t necessary, but b
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I should stick these two lists to my bathroom mirror, my phone, and the inside of my eyelids.

"What do good listeners do that makes them good listeners? They:

1. Probe for clarification
2. Listen for unvoiced emotions
3. Listen for the story
4. Summarize well
5. Empathize
6. Listen for what’s different, not for what’s familiar
7. Take it all seriously (they don’t say, “You shouldn’t worry about that”)
8. Spot hidden assumptions
9. Let the client “get it out of his or her system”
10. Ask “How do you feel ab
Gregory Peterson
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: professional service firms, consultants
Shelves: consulting
I've been a devotee of "guru to the gurus" David Maister for more than a decade. And when he wrote about the finer points of advice-giving, it became required reading for my staff. Today -- years after its first publication -- this remains a "go to" book for anyone in the advice-giving business.

Remember when management consulting firms were actually hiring people? In those distant days, the New York Times reported a trend of recruiting new consultants not from leading business schools - but fro
Frederik Knudsen
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
Fine book with fair points, though not very eye-opening and could probably be written more succinctly. Cannot really recommend to people who have a basic sense of how to be sociable.
Abby Bruce
Read this with my team at EY. The beginning of the book felt like it needed a more gendered approach as the advice felt very male oriented (example phrases were “softened” and felt like they were pulled directly out of a book describing how women should avoid speaking in order to project the confidence/knowledge we/they have). Later half of the book was very insightful for me - learned a lot more about the inter workings of the day to day of upper level management consultants. The focus on build ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
OK-ish. I sense this is a starting point for everyone who had no actual client communication experience or knows more oldschool and pushy/sales approach. Nice ideas but very general, with too little to get for someone with more experience and edgecases to handle.
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Must read for every professional especially, if you're starting up and not working in firms with set practices of engagement with clients. Took my practice of law to a whole new level. Glad to have stumbled upon this Book! ...more
Patrick Boyle
The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister outlines the attributes necessary in order to be a successful and trustworthy advisor to the clients. In the novel, Maiser constructs orderly lists of characteristics that are required in maintaining a strong reputation and relationship. Throughout these lists, Maister discusses tactics such as gaining trust, giving advice, building relationships, ensuring a good experience, and more. The author outlined ways in which advisors are able to accomplish these ...more
Sumit Singla
As a management consultant, this book had some great takeaways for me. It is vital to be seen as a partner and an advisor, rather than only as a subject matter expert, in a client situation. That's the easiest and most sustainable way to build a lasting relationship with a client.

While following the advice in this book may not lead to your client putting your phone on speed dial, it'll get you close... :)
jordan camille ferguson
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was required reading for my grad school course in Consulting.

It’s packed with practical, yet insightful advice on building solid, trusting relationships with clients of any temperament. I was skeptical of some of the advice because as a black woman I am aware that I can not employ the same tactics as white men in most professional situations and get the same outcome, but I still enjoyed reading it. I plan to proceed with caution when applying these lessons to my own career.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very helpful. The book helps me understand the reasons behind why clients behave the way they behave. By understanding all the rationals behind their actions, it helps me better on how to approach certains aspects and different characteristics.

I would recommend any who work as consultants / advisors to various clients read this. It's pretty enlightening.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: think
Language felt a bit dated and patriarchal for my tastes, but there are some valuable perspectives on building trust, in particular around personal risk taking, building empathy, and cultivating awareness around damage that can happen when you are too self-oriented. Lots of basics but presented in easy to reference lists for future application
Kat Riethmuller
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nf-summaries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The scene is a hotel bar in Hong Kong. The cast is a group of relatively seasoned portfolio managers from various Scandinavian countries - amongst them myself. The PM:s don’t really know each other but after a nice dinner the general feeling is that the other ones are quite nice guys. In this setting I get the question “Out of all the Scandi sales you have met, which is the best one?” For those not familiar with the concept Scandi sales, it’s roughly an equity broker serving Scandinavian clients ...more
Aparajith Raghuraman
This book is good for those aspiring for a career in the services industry, particularly, consulting. This book primarily talks about the importance of creating a relationship with clients and how this helps drive repeat sales and cross-selling.

A little disclaimer before I highlight the pros and cons of this book: I read this book to do a book review for an elective in my B-School and owing to time constraints, I ended up speed-reading the book. My opinions stated below are based on th
Mykaela Doane
Jun 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book is alright from the content side. It's got few pieces of tactical, actionable advice but does offer good insight on the qualities of a trusted advisor, tips to relationship building, trust-building, and on how to be a good listener.

I give the book such a low rating because it was very clearly written by a straight white man, assuming an audience of straight white men. Most of the quotes as well as the made-up examples are of male leaders/businesspeople. When speaking in hypotheticals,
Michael Bolls
Mar 28, 2022 rated it really liked it
A must-read for those in the professional services or client-facing industries. Even those outside of those industries may find great value in this book.

Disclaimer: I have been out of the client-facing industry for a few years so my review may be biased. Yet, it doesn't mean I didn't find value in this book. I found the book serves as a useful reminder of some of the things I've learned in the past.

The Trusted Advisor is a book focused on an often-overlooked truth of business. One cannot ignore
Gary Khan
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Entrepreneurs, Business leaders,
The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister
A Kryptic Review…
Leading with Questions
I have spent a long time in my career accidentally becoming a trusted advisor to my clients and yet David H. Maister articulates and distils these principles with great ease. The book is well written and also well narrated (audiobook).
“There is an old saying, “It is amazing what you can achieve if you are not wedded to who gets the credit.”

Maister breaks down the chapters first explaining what being a trusted advisor actually means, and
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Trusted Advisor packs an enormous amount of wisdom about a great subject - building a professional relationship with your client through. Magister, Green, & Galford clearly write from their experience and emphasize mature advice for the advisor. The book illustrates practical scenarios and heuristics for navigating the service and corporate landscape that echoes of deeper wisdom, integrity, and honesty that goes beyond the work environment. The saying goes that checklists are written in bloo ...more
This one was recommended to me by a former work colleague, but I felt that is offers advice from a time and place with which I find that I have no connection, and which is both a little overly WASP-ish and outdated, and bears no palpable relevance to my own (IT) industry.

Look no further than the cast of advisors, with that somewhat pretentious US upper middle class affectation manifested in a middle initial after the christian name, an aesthetic that went out with ticker tape, has been largely
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
- The book is practically a nice guide on soft and communication skills in the consulting context. Nothing ground-breaking or exclusive but it is an important read to polish your thinking and behavior when dealing with clients, colleagues and supervisors.

- The best thing about this book is the "real" life examples it gives to the rules and tips it has. For example, if your client says "x".. if you reply with "y" this will happen, if you reply with "z" that will happen, better do this,
Margot Note
"It is not enough for a professional to be right: An advisor's job is to be helpful" (27).

"While most providers sell on the basis of technical competence, most buyers buy on the basis of emotion" (72).

"Rational framing looks so much like the 'essence of many professions that it's easy to forget it is only a middle step in a process of trust creation. The most brilliant, incisive insight will fall on completely deaf ears if the advisor thas not yet earned the right to frame the issue by going t
Cyrus Molavi
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Some advice from client relationship experts that are clearly not writers. The focus of this book is on building trust, and the core idea is worthwhile. They express their framework using a simple equation, and use the variables to communicate how no single attribute can earn you trust.

There is a decent amount of value here, but a lot of the material they're trying to cover is not easily taught. Talking about soft skills can only take you so far--they must be practiced. And while the authors fa
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'd describe it as The Speed of Trust set in the specific context of becoming a consultant/advisor to a person or group (i.e., client). Like the Speed of Trust, not much is rocket science, but I suppose the degree of learning from this book depends on the type of person you are going into it. I would think it would best serve a) people just starting out in their careers who may not yet realize the value of establishing trust in any relationship or b) those perhaps not so early in their careers w ...more
Shaurya Aggarwal
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I ended up confused after reading the book - confused about whether the lists format of summering dos/donts work for me or not, whether the learnings are relevant in my profession, whether I am at the right managerial position to get the best out of this book, etc.

Honestly, I am still unsure on the answers to all my confusions, but I do feel that certain aspects are highly relevant for me in my role. This book is a good reminder of certain basics one should consciously keep in mind to build or
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
i would have rated this a 3, but only because I wasn't really the right audience for this book (not a professional consultant with various clients). That said, I think it would be a 4/5 for actual constants looking to build trust with clients, so that's how I rated it. My biggest take away was the 4 aspects of trust: reliability, credibility, self-orientation, and intimacy. I liked those descriptions and found the self-orientation concept the most interesting of the group - the way they describe ...more
D.T. Henderson
Jan 09, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: made-me-think
Read this for my senior capstone class.

The gist:
1. Put the client’s interests/goals first. This is not an option; it is the only one.
2. Don’t listen to react. Listen to listen.
3. Everyone needs to be on the same page. You and the client should know and agree on what you’re expected to do.
The Quick Guide to Being a Trusted Advisor:(view spoiler)
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
To build trust, a person must be willing to 'give' in order to 'get'.

Trust is a two-way relationship, in order for a trust relationship to evolve, it needs a combined effort from both parties; the advisor needs to integrate his/her content expertise with his/her organizational and interpersonal skills. The client, in turn must positively reciprocate and participate in building up the relationship.

The trust equation is a useful scientific framework for those who like to mathematize the intangibl
Thanh Tùng
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
The author tries to conceptualize trust into an equation, however, I found it largely overlapping among the 4 components which are credibility, reliability, intimacy, and self-orientation after his explanation. In the latter part, he shares some insightful anecdotes and a few euphemism techniques that are fun to read but might be a bit hard for anyone who wants to use these tactics on their cases since most only apply to niche situations.

The book could be concluded in a few key points as being a
Peter Tennekes
Learnings / take aways.
Ad advisor relationship can operate on various levels of which the trusted advisor reflects the most advanced type.
Trust is quantifiable and has a flow
engage > listen > frame > envision > commit
Trust has several components whch are related in the trust equation : (reliability + reliability intimacy) / self-orientation

I found is a very good read and found it useful to think about trust as a tangible skill. I listened to this book in audio format and as the book has
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