The Importance of Knowing Yourself and Your Team
“Building authentic and trusting relationships with my clients is very important to me. It is not enough to simply work with them; I want to connect with them. That connection helps me better serve my clients and address their needs.”
Nathalie Hill is a Success Consultant at Reverie Organizational Development Specialists. Nathalie’s passion for people, strong work ethic, and innate desire to build authentic connections with her clients, make her an instant hit with the clients with whom she works. Prior to joining Reverie, Nathalie was a Development Manager at a national non-for-profit where she and her team planned and executed more than 20 fundraising events, with the most successful event raising $2.2 million. Nathalie uses her past experience as a Development Manager to work with Reverie's clients on implementing processes and programs to drive change, facilitate growth, and improve organizational structure.
Q. You mentioned getting to know yourself and your team are important in your
role as a Success Consultant with Reverie. Why do you feel that way?
A. From a Reverie perspective, we believe in the power of self awareness, which is being aware of yourself and your strengths. Knowing this leads you to being more successful in your role, within your team, and for your clients. Being aware of our strengths and weaknesses makes us better equipped to meet our clients’ needs and our teams’ needs. Ultimately it makes for a better work environment and helps us better serve our clients.
Q. For some people, truly knowing ourselves is hard to do. What method or practices have you used to truly get to know yourself?
A. One way I have learned a lot about myself is through the relationships I have built and the conversations I have had with people over the years. I studied Human Development in college, which is the study of how people think and behave the way they do in a social context. Oftentimes, a person may react in a way or think about a situation differently than how I would. I take those experiences and learn from them. I will use that as an opportunity to ask myself how would I have acted in a similar situation. It is always a work in progress. You learn something new about yourself when you are faced with a new or difficult situation as well as when you are in a good situation. It is being curious and wondering how I would handle a situation. For example, conflict is a big opportunity to learn from. I always ask myself, how would I react in a similar situation and gain insight from the behavior of others.
Q. Great advice! How has knowing yourself helped you better serve your clients?
A. When I started at Reverie, I took three personality assessments: StrengthFinders, 16 Personalities, and How to Fascinate. All Reverie team members take the assessments which has not only helped our team become aware of our teammates' strengths, but it also gives us insight on how we function as a team. From an internal perspective, it showed that my Reverie team wants to know who I am and how I function. It helps us to learn about our team, what strengths we possess, which areas of growth we need to develop, and how we function both independently and as a team. Ultimately, this helps us execute better for our clients and deliver better results for them.
In many of our engagements, we have our clients take the same personality assessments. This way, we have a better understanding of the client’s team based on the characteristics they possess and how they function as a team. Knowing ourselves and the teams that we work with allows us the opportunity to build off of their strengths and to help develop them in the areas where opportunities exist. We address their needs based on their personality and what their team looks like.
Q. In thinking about your strengths, which of your strengths best serve you when working with your clients?
A. When I took the ‘How to Fascinate” assessment, I learned that my advantages are Trust and Passion. I am known as “ The Authentic.” When I use trust and passion when working with my clients, they see the best version of myself, the best “Nathalie” that I can be. Building authentic and trusting relationships with my clients is very important to me. I just can’t work with them; I want to connect with them. That connection helps me better serve my clients and address their needs. I focus on relationship building with my clients and knowing them for who they are. It is also important that my clients know they can trust and depend on me. I want my clients to know I will do what I say and will perform the things they are asking of me. For a truly successful relationship, trust must go both ways. I can better serve my clients knowing they will execute the things that I am asking of them and will communicate openly and honestly with me.
Q. It sounds like getting to know your clients is a priority of yours. How do you get to know your clients?
A. The first thing I do is get to know my clients “on paper” before I meet with them in person. I will spend time on their website and take a peek at their social media accounts. I want to gather as much information as I can. I like to check out their branding and marketing, their mission statement, their core values, and their team. However, nothing is better than meeting them in person and getting to know them, learning about them, and seeing them in their environment. I try to identify their strengths as well as their areas of opportunities where I can best serve them. I am always honest with them and I never hesitate to show my vulnerability to them. I am not afraid to say, let’s learn from each other and grow together. I make it my focus to let the clients know I am there to help them. Our clients are amazing! We truly strive to build those authentic relationships with our clients, so we tend to work with companies who are aligned with our core values. It is so fun to work with them.
Q. I would imagine that building trust is crucial in your role. How do you build trust with your clients?
A. Trust starts with being reliable and consistent. When I am working with a client, when a client asks for my help or requests something of me, I want them to know that, without a shadow of a doubt, I am honest, dependable and will produce at the same high level every time! I put 100% in everything I do, and that level of consistency and dependability creates the building blocks for trust. I was very fortunate in that when I joined Reverie the other consultants already laid a lot of the groundwork to build trust with our clients. I just needed to show them that I too am reliable and can get the work done for you with the same level of trust, consistency, and accuracy you have come to expect from Reverie. Building connections with my clients is also an integral step in building that trust. I want to know about my clients outside of the work environment. I want to know what their family is like, what fun shows they are watching. It shows I am investing in the person, not just the project or the job, and that goes a long way in building trust.
Q. Reverie focuses on building authentic and vibrant partnerships with their clients. How does Reverie do that?
A. Reverie’s process, from the time we initially begin speaking to our clients through the contract phase, is built on strong communication, setting clear expectations, and building a realistic timeline of the project. We clearly lay out the expectations and keep an open dialog throughout the entire process. We build trust and dependability from the beginning. I also think when our clients meet the Reverie team and see our authenticity, our confidence, and our best selves shining through, we draw people with the same energy and focus. We can identify clients who share the same core values as us and who will value building honest and trusting partnerships. We want to connect with our clients and have our clients connect with us. When you work with clients who share that same connection, you bring out the best in each other.
Q. If I were a business owner and seeking an engagement with a consulting firm, why should I choose Reverie?
A. There are so many reasons, but my number one reason is how we work with our clients. People tend to think of consultants as people who come in and just change things and leave. We don’t do that. We are so truly invested in our clients and their business. We stick with our clients throughout the entire process and even after because we have built such strong relationships with them. We want to see our clients succeed! It’s the connection aspect of Reverie that makes us different. We focus on the entire team, the entire journey. We take the time to sit down with all the team members to get a well- rounded understanding of what the client really needs. We see the entire picture and build great relationships with our clients, which ultimately, leads to the results the client desires.
Q. What is your favorite part of working at Reverie?
A. Do I only have to choose one? Our clients are the reason we do what we do, but we are able to do what we do because of our Reverie team. It is a special thing to work with a group of people who perform at such a high-level, who put an emphasis on self-awareness and knowing our strengths, and who pride themselves on building authentic and vibrant partnerships with each other and our clients. We support one another, encourage each other, challenge one another to be better for ourselves, our team, and our clients.