Develop Essential Skillset for Strategy Consulting
For Strategic Business Consultants, certain standards of skills and behavior are expected.
Many of these skills are applicable no matter what industry or expertise for which you provide consulting services.
Research skills, whether by online, by phone and most especially in person communication. Asking the right questions and the ability to dig deep for the data and information you need is key.
No surprise – written communication skills. Whether for project status reports, email, presentation decks, or financial reports, the ability to effectively and succinctly communicate while being mindful of the audience for the written product is a skill worth developing.
Organization skills, especially if the consulting duties are varied and require multiple skills, clients, locations, projects, etc. Keeping abreast, timely and focused while products.
Analytical skills – and the ability to restate, reframe and summarize complex data into a message tailored to your client – whether an internal project team or an external client.
Sales Skills – yes being able to sell! Whether an internal consultant within a strategic project office of your organization or an external consultant, the ability to sell your skills, your recommendations, your team, etc is a valuable skill that should be proactively developed.
“Commitment to delivering excellent client service”. Enough said.
Although this article discusses the qualities of consultants from high-ranking schools, the qualities outlined apply to any position within an organization, no matter whether you are a consultant, or a W-2 employee.
Establish your creditability – Your word is your “brand”. If you commit to do something for your client, then you need to make it happen. Never overstate or over promise. But deliver your commitments.
Be quality consistent. Be the one who can be counted on.
Master the technology basics skills necessary for a successful consultant. Being an expert using social media does not replace the need to know fundamental Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, etc.. If you need the tech skills, take advantage of online training available. Practice using the technology – it will be of value when you get that unexpected request with a quick turnaround.
Attention to Detail
Develop a Specialty! Be known for a particular skill – whether it is the ability to run an effective meeting of diverse groups, troubleshooting software issues or quickly discussing a P&L spreadsheet. At some point – it will come in handy and you will have an opportunity to shine.
Be creative in your problem solving, and proactively identify resources you can use.
Ask questions and learn the types of questions work well to elicit the information you need. Create a method for asking questions that encourages your clients, team members, resources to share and become engaged in the solution.
Ever wanted to corner a consultant and ask them just a few questions – glean some secrets to their success? Well, this article is for you. Bernard Ross and Sudeshna Mukherjee interviewed several consultants to get their feedback on what it takes to make a great consultant.