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A calling and a gift: authentically leaning into the art of helping

Monday, January 24, 2022 5:04 PM | Hallie Knox

Our current member spotlight and guest blogger is Eloiza Altoro! Eloiza is a national and international Organizational Development Consultant. She founded her consulting business, Mind Redesign Consulting, over 20 years ago. She specializes in partnering with nonprofits and professional associations within the areas of governance, planning, transition management, and executive leadership coaching. She is also the Fund Advisor of the Nonprofit Management Fund, a donor-advised fund, which disseminates capacity-building mini-grants within the Greater Milwaukee Area. 

Here’s a question: how relevant is the first degree you ever earned to the career you hold today? As a young adult I majored in clinical psychology and professional communications, and today I am an Organizational Development Consultant. From the outside that may seem like a leap, but there’s a common thread between the study of psychology and organizational development.  Psychology is the study of human behavior and organizational development is all about changing behaviors to create positive cultural and systematic organizational shifts. You cannot influence organizational change without directly dealing with the people within an organization.  

After years spent working in and leading non-profits, earning a Master's in Organizational Leadership and Management, and starting my own consulting business over two decades ago, the underlying goal has remained constant. I just want to work with people to clearly identify the issues and to come up with creative solutions.

have learned that "helping" can be beneficial or hindering as a consultant. I excel at helping non-profit organizations through complex internal challenges - when I help "the right way."

As a process consultant, I am most helpful when I put the client first, listening actively and solving those complex problems collaboratively. However, the longer you are a consultant, the harder it becomes to stifle an automatic response to solving problems. I realize that I still have plenty of opportunities to work on setting ego and pre-conceived notions aside in order to truly remain client-focused!

For those aspiring or new consultants out there, remember that wanting to help isn’t enough. Although it is necessary to let the client guide the process, you still need to bring your "whole self" to the process.  I’m not talking about bragging about your expertise; I’m talking about being true to yourself by cultivating your natural talents, creating your niche and knowing your limitations. When a consultant deeply and authentically embraces the gifts they bring to the table, fully understands how they can contribute to the overall health of an organization, and is able to effectively communicate that to potential clients, they will be able to take their business to the next level of endurance and success.

Non-profit consulting is not a job for me, it’s my calling in life. I wake up every morning excited to see what the day offers. I would argue that authenticity is the number one characteristic necessary to survive and thrive as a consultant. The longer that I have been in this field, the more humble and confident I have become in the work that I do and the decisions that I make.

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