To be a trusted advisor, you need to be willing to give tough love.
I mean that in two parts: tough and love.
Sometimes, your feedback will be tough.
Your clients may even resent you for a minute. It’s not easy to hear tough feedback, but your job is to speak the truth in service of their goals.
More often, though, you need to dole out the love.
Provide encouragement, build confidence, and lift up your clients. Sprinkle that stuff on liberally—we all need to build on our successes.
Most of us get very little positive feedback as it is, so we’re not even aware of the things we do well.
It’s your job to be their champion and advocate—just be sure to do it with kindness and tact.
You can’t help your clients without giving both the tough and the love.