Consulting with passion & purpose: how to bring your A game

Consultations come in all shapes and sizes – from small and manageable, to giant, sprawling behemoths with multiple stakeholders, warring factions, and challenging timeframes.

But no matter how great or small your plan or project – in order to run a killer consultation you need to get the right people involved at the right times, in the right places and in the right ways. And unfortunately, they don’t always come to you.

But how do you get the best results from your consultation? Here’s a few tips we’ve compiled over our years of working in the consultation space…

Agape CareTailor your approach…

Take the consultation we recently worked on for Agape Carea charitable trust that provides services and housing for adults with an intellectual disability based in the West Auckland area.

The brief was to design a consultation process to help Agape better understand the working preferences of their residents with various verbal and non-verbal abilities. 

Step in Ian Leader, Dot Two Dot’s Director of Social Impact & Innnovation, with a wealth of experience working in the disability sector. He and our team worked to ensure the Agape consultation process was fully inclusive and designed with Agape residents’ communications needs in mind – to empower them to the max. 

Testimonial, Judy Garriock, Chair Agape Homes Trust on Dot Two Dot’s consultation work with Agape Care:

“The report delivered by Ian and his team was by far the best practice inclusive process I’ve ever come across in the branding and social impact space for people with disabilities.” 

It’s all about the channels

As part of your tailoring process, you also need to consider the communication channels you’re going to use to reach your target audience(s).

Communication channels include things like social media, face to face meetings, email, videos and radio. They need to be fit for purpose and meet the needs of the community you are consulting with. 

For example, our recent work with Otara Business Association and Papatoetoe Main Street Society involved designing an effective method to consult with both communities – bearing in mind that people lead busy lives and don’t have the time (or inclination) to talk to researchers with clipboards!

The goal was to consult with these communities and to prepare 5 year plans to help revitalise their Town Centres. 

The obvious solution was to use social media channels – allowing people to respond where, when, and in a way that suited them.

Following research by the Dot Two Dot team, Facebook was designated the channel of choice with the biggest reach in both communities, so we set about launching awareness campaigns to publicise both consultations using our inhouse design, social media and social engagement capabilities. 

These consultations consequently both enjoyed high levels of engagement, enabling us to consult across a wide cross section of the community in order to design and create five-year plans that reflect a representative number of views and preferences. 

Strength-based approach

Strength-based approachLast but not least, Dot Two Dot always utilises a strength-based approach. This one is critical and involves focusing on things people want from the end game of their consultation – rather than what they don’t want. Being aspirational avoids expending negative energy.

Taking a strength-based approach includes focusing on what is currently good about something – then building on it and asking what we could do to make it even better or great. Also, we ask people what needs to change rather than what they don’t like. It’s a subtle redirection, but an effective strategy that helps focus minds in a more positive direction.

In the words of author Joyce C. Lock, “Build upon your strengths, and your weaknesses will gradually take care of themselves.”

Happy consulting everyone! 

Elevate your consultations with Dot Two Dot

We bring a unique blend of expertise in consulting, design, research, social media, innovation, and content creation, ensuring tailored solutions under one roof.

What Sets Us Apart:

Efficiency: We streamline consultation planning, saving your time and resources.

Diverse skills: Our team offers a range of expertise from consulting to creative solutions.

Enhanced engagement: Through targeted campaigns, we maximise your impact.

Contact us: Ready to enhance your consultations? Reach out today and let Dot Two Dot transform your ideas into impactful reality. 


Ian Leader and Tom Newton-Smith

When you partner with Dot Two Dot, you get an ally and a team who believes in you and what you stand for.

We will stretch the boundaries and achieve more than you thought was possible.