How To Improve Your Skills & Techniques As A Professional Consultant
Consulting success isn’t just about fancy presentations – you need to back it up with helpful skills and techniques. The most sought after skills a Consultant has are actually interpersonal skills. This doesn’t mean technical knowledge is irrelevant, it merely demonstrates the broad range of skills a Consultant needs to have in order to be successful. You will already have a vast knowledge but how can you improve your skills and techniques in a way that will benefit your clients?
These are the most important skills to hone in order to become a better consultant. Soft skills are irrelevant of industry, instead they focus on personal skills rather than technical ones. These are the most important of soft skills for consultants to possess and how you can easily improve on existing capabilities:
This is obviously very important as a consultant because one of the cornerstones of the role is to listen to what your client wants. Be aware of how much you talk and how much you listen. To be a good listener you should aim to listen more than you talk.
You need to be able to adapt to your client needs and be flexible in regards to the time you work with them. You can only really practice and improve this skill through doing and taking a more flexible attitude into all of your client meetings.
Your communication game needs to be on point. You need to know how to talk to people about difficult topics and personal matters. Empathy is key to this – transport yourself into their shoes and consider how you would want to be told such news.
Being professional in all dealings with clients not only creates a positive impression of yourself, it also helps maintain a business relationship. Empathy again helps you to understand if you’re presenting yourself in a professional manner.
Having excellent soft skills is important but you also need to be an expert in your technical field. The best way to improve yourself in this way is to stay on top of industry trends. Read about the industry and sign up to relevant news alerts. Attend conferences and presentations to keep on top of best practise and the latest in industry thinking. And most importantly practice what you preach by using your own technical skills as much as you can. Doing this will make you an expert in your technical field – which will make your role as a consultant more effective.
Undertaking a professional development course is one of the easiest ways of ensuring your skills are up to date. At Brighton school of Business and Management we offer a range of courses that will help you improve your skills and ultimately, your effectiveness as a professional Consultant.
How have you improved as a Consultant? Share your techniques and tips on our social media pages.