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What Makes a Top Consultant?

I’m often approached by HR practitioners considering the switch across to consulting. With that often comes the question ‘what makes a good consultant?’
Whilst there is no exact formula to this question, some of the key characterises I’ve witnessed from great consultants over the years include:

Flexibility

Great consultants can go into a new environment, fit in quickly and deliver seamlessly. An ability to ‘roll with the punches’ and be comfortable with the fact their plans for the day can quite often change in an instant.

Discipline

Great consultants work hard, and they work smart. They know how to accomplish the best results in the shortest possible time with as little friction as possible. Great consultants understand that diligently following certain methods will get them the outcome they want.

Persistence

Excellent consultants don’t give up. They accept frictions, unforeseen circumstances and negative feedback, they learn from them and they move on. They will analyse and learn from every setback in order to prevent it from happening again.

Love of Learning

Staying on top of the developments in their fields of expertise. Good consultants enjoy bringing the latest knowledge and skills to the table when others can’t.

Resourcefulness

Problem solving often without all the information to hand. Navigating client politics and reporting lines is part and parcel of a consultant’s day-to-day tasks. They use skills and knowledge from previous projects to solve new problems and challenges.

Making a Difference

Their primary goal is to help other people and businesses. Great consultants build trust because of their will to help their clients accomplish their goals. They receive great satisfaction in delivering positive change.