Give yourself easy markers.
I name problematic employees. ‘Odette’ instantly connotes a particular loud mouthed thief who casts blame on others. By giving particular problems a name, it is easier to see them.
Always enter the premises with a blank slate, yes, but always be alert to signs and symbols. Always be conscious of who hired you and why, and what they desire.
In some cases, businesses are ‘forced’ to hire a consultant to find out the ‘why’…
Why is the business losing money?Why are the employees quiting?Why is everything a problem?etc.
In many cases, those who hire you will not accept your findings. The best thing to do is shrug. When they lose the business you can whisper, (I told you so).
The reality of this job is that no one really wants the truth, they want the problems to go away.