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The 5 Traits of a Great Consultant

It doesn’t do much good (if any) to attempt to navigate a new territory when you’re unfamiliar with the terrain. This is often the downfall of start ups and new business ventures for established companies. Often times, what seems to be a great idea will hit a roadblock so severe, it brings everything to an indefinite halt.

This is where the skills of a great Consultant come into play. Of course, plenty of professionals boast the title Consultant and collect what is likely a hefty fee for their services. However, not all Consultants are created equal.

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Unlike other positions where a satisfactory performer will keep business churning, consulting has much bigger implications. Bad information from oversight or lack of applicable knowledge is as disastrous as attempting a new enterprise with no idea of the landscape.

A Consultant can’t just be good – they need to be great. Below we look at the five major components of what makes a good Consultant an outstanding one.

Superb Communication and Listening Skills

Although a Consultant’s ultimate goal is to provide valuable information, the first step is listening. Providing the best guidance begins with understanding a business’ model and direction. It is only then that a Consultant can construct valuable advice and map out a relevant strategy.

Vast Insight and Perception

A great Advisor is able to look at every possible angle from a range of viewpoints. This means understanding immediate surroundings, what lies just ahead and the big picture. Not only does this person know the roadway, they know everything about the vehicle making the trip.

Adaptability and Resilience

For the most part, no two businesses are exactly the same. Subtle differences will greatly affect the path to reach the destination. Sometimes this means taking a calculated risk and knowing what to do as well as when to do it.

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Confidence and Trustworthiness

A Consultant needs to convey a sense of confidence but not arrogance. This strengthens projects in both their ability to offer foresight and, advise against pursing ideas or projects that will hinder progress. This acumen also builds mutual trust and doesn’t appear audacious which could lead to execution of a poorly constructed plan.

Initiative and Problem Solving Skills

Great Consultants offer advice before it is requested. This self-starting effort shows a passion in helping for reasons beyond simply collecting a pay check. A business or strategy plan is an obvious place to start but you may also expect to see a SWOT analysis, some competitor and market research, data about the industry, projections for future growth, identification of likely problems and a whole host of other documents and preparedness resources. On top of those, a great Consultant can also think on their feet and will update their approach and strategy based on events as they happen.

The good news is that you can learn these skills. Browse our range of Consultant courses, Management consulting training and Consultant certifications options.

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