Updated: Aug 18
When considering the skills of a business consultant, it's natural to focus on their analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities. While these skills are undoubtedly important, every business consultant possesses certain unique skills and abilities that are invaluable in the world of consulting. In this blog post, we shed light on three skills your business consultant should have: patience, communication, and relationship building.
Patience: A Key Virtue
Patience is an essential skill that every business consultant should possess. Consulting engagements often involve complex problems and uncertain situations that require time to unravel. It is during these challenging moments that a consultant's patience shines through. A patient consultant understands that finding the right solution takes time and is willing to invest the necessary effort to achieve the desired outcome. By remaining calm and composed, they can navigate through setbacks, delays, and resistance, ultimately delivering better results for their clients.
Effective Communication: Bridging the Gap
Communication is often regarded as a basic skill, but in the realm of consulting, it becomes an art form. An exceptional business consultant should be adept at communicating with diverse stakeholders, including executives, employees, and clients. They should possess the ability to actively listen, ask the right questions, and empathize with their clients' concerns. Moreover, a consultant must be skilled at translating complex concepts into simple, understandable language, ensuring that everyone involved can grasp the proposed strategies and ideas. Effective communication establishes trust, creates a shared understanding, and paves the way for successful collaboration.
Building Lasting Relationships: Trust and Value
Building relationships might not be explicitly mentioned in the job description of a business consultant, but it is an invaluable and often overlooked skill. Consultants who prioritize relationship building go beyond the scope of their projects. They take the time to understand their client's organizational culture, industry dynamics, and aspirations. By doing so, they can forge deeper connections, earn the trust and respect of their clients, and become trusted advisors. Building lasting relationships also opens doors to repeat engagements and referrals, solidifying a consultant's reputation in the industry.
Embracing the Unappreciated
While analytical thinking and problem-solving often steal the limelight, the unappreciated skills of patience, communication, and relationship building truly differentiate an exceptional business consultant from the rest. These skills might not be explicit requirements of the job, but they are integral to delivering outstanding outcomes and fostering long-term success for clients. As clients begin to recognize and appreciate the value of these unappreciated skills, they will come to appreciate the full breadth and depth of a consultant's capabilities.
Personal experience connecting with Clients
I had a client who wanted to start a sports facility for kids as an after-school program. As we were talking, I realized his love for sports. I share the same passion, and we instantly connected on that level. It became even more exciting when we discovered that the teams we both support are rivals. This connection created a strong bond between us. We had a mutual understanding and a shared sense of humor. We would make playful jokes towards each other, like "I hope your work isn't as bad as your team" or "I hope you don't manage this business like the general manager of your team." These moments were great because they were built on a genuine connection and understanding, which is especially valuable in building relationships, particularly between men.