Doug Zahn has done a tremendous amount of work on what I like to call the human factors in statistical consulting. He summarizes some key ideas in this article. His humorous anecdote about his prized Mustang car illustrates the tendency of all of us to be poor listeners. Pay special atention to Table 1 where he outlines the five steps you should always follow in any consulting interaction.
Douglas Zahn. How to be more effective in your professional life. Amstat News, September 2009. Available at http://magazine.amstat.org/blog/2009/09/01/heartofastatcareersept09/.