6 Aptitudes Thriving Consultants Cultivate

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Author : Steve Polen
Published: April 18, 2012

Being an expert in a given field and being a consultant are often wrongfully associated as the same profession. They do both entail a high degree of analytical skills and rigorous thinking. But being a consultant requires a certain concoction of soft skills that clearly distinguishes consulting as a standalone career path. Fostering those skills through positive habits is determinant in succeeding in the field. Here are the top 6 aptitudes that great consultants cultivate:

Constant Thirst for knowledge

Great consultants are the ones that never get tired of learning. Be thirsty for knowledge and innovation. Stay alert, develop curiosity for the unknown. Read newspapers, online publications in and outside of your field of expertise, learn from your network. Expand your horizons, it will allow you to constantly bring innovative ideas to your cases. Keeping your mind out of your comfort zone will help to foster creativity in your consulting life.

Strong Communication abilities

Whether searching for a job, writing a proposal, talking to a client, or gathering information on a topic, good communication skills will help you perform to the best of your abilities. Communicating well will allow you to successfully sell yourself as a consultant and convince clients to buy-in your ideas.

People Skills

Keeping every stakeholder on the same page when working on a project will improve transparency and help you exceed the expectations of those with whom you work. By becoming the person everyone wants to work with, you build your own professional reputation and will advance your career faster than those of your competitors.

Excel at Listening

Consultants meet different people with unique characteristics. Some will be wordy, others reserved. Having excellent listening skills will encourage all to talk freely yielding better data to crack your case. Being a great listener allows to understand client’s unspoken needs.

Work your Network

Develop meaningful relationships with co-workers, clients, bosses, and subordinates to create an efficient consulting machine. By getting your name out there as a team player, you draw in business to yourself and perform stronger than loners who rely only on their own abilities. Building your professional network will improve your credibility and expand your business options. Great consultants know who ought to do what needs to be done. If they need to get something done, they know who to contact.

Answer to High Professional Standards

The best consultants strive to act with dignity and competence. Working on a project should mean devoting all of your energy to finding the best solution to the client’s problems. Great consultants should always do so with integrity.

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