What is a management consultant?
Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external advice and access to consultants’ specialized expertise.
What Makes a Good Management Consultant?
1. Team Players
Ideal consultants will ‘fight in the trenches’ with their colleagues, are dependable, have a strong willingness to learn, and are receptive to feedback. They are not afraid to challenge ideas, but do so productively and with respect.
2. Critical Thinkers
Consultants are expected to produce rational analyses, rather than simply make recommendations based on opinion or gut feeling. A significant part of the consulting job is therefore to consistently make critical judgments about the data, judgment calls, and analyses presented by others and to be able to defend their reasoning.
3. Effective Communicators
Consultants spend a lot of time talking, reading, and writing. They use communication to share their analyses and to persuade others that their recommendations are right.
4. Bull Sheep
A good consultant works well with a variety of personalities and skill sets. A day-to-day consultant must enjoy and be capable of working in diverse with teams and clients.
5. Have an Interest in Laws of Human Behavior
They should know the laws of human behavior so that they know that there is no science which can be embedded into any of the human organizations. This is a unique skill to identify human organizations.
6. Analytical Skills
Consultants need to be able to develop overarching frameworks which help the client make sense of literature, data and other information.
7. Sensitivity to Stakeholders
A great consultant listens, and presentations are tailored toward the audience and their needs.
8. Build Positive Relationships
Being able to build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders is critical to a consulting practice’s success, and ability to build relationships is often as important as technical or analytical skills.
9. Project Management
Good consultants are also good project managers. They are responsible for choosing successful paths through the maze of possibilities and dependencies, and for building a solid team that communicates well.