George Lovell developed Non-directive consultancy, by providing training for church and community workers. He ran his organisation, called AVEC (the French for “with”), at Chelsea Methodist Church in London. (The link takes you to my sequence about non-directive consultancy.) It ran from the 1970s through to the 1990s. After AVEC closed, George Lovell, with a few others, developed a course about consultancy, mission and ministry. George has retired but the course continues at York St John’s College. Consultancy for Mission and Ministry is an excellent course for anyone interested in non-directive consultancy.
What is Non-directive Consultancy?
Consultancy has something of a bad name primarily because of out-sourcing, where specialist consultancy organisations carry out tasks instead of employees. We all know where that’s led.
Non-directive consultancy does the opposite. It is a mutual method, aiming to empower the people who are doing the work. It starts with the assumption that the consultor knows their job. They may need help in thinking things through. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes they need help to see where they went wrong and how to move on from where they’ve ended up!
George Lovell’s two books, “Analysis and Design” and “Consultancy, Ministry and Mission” are the best introduction to the approach, although the course is essential if you want to learn the method.