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Some of the most important characteristics of a successful consultant are the exepcted: a structured mind, strong Maths, an ability to assimilate information fast. Perhaps less expected is that often only the truly sociable person will become a successful consultant, because of the 24/7 nature of the socialising that goes with consulting.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Management Consultant job entails in order to better understand what type of individuals fair well in the profession.
Not Your Typical Office Job
The stereotype of Management consultant is a lot different to what it actually is. Consultants are trained to think outside the box. This also applies to their work schedule. Most consultants are required to work and travel on a regular basis. The travelling aspect is a huge concern for consultants, mainly because it’s an unpredictable factor in their restless schedule of meeting deadlines and writing reports.
Communication and Social Skills
It is imperative for a consultant to have great communication and social skills. This is an unavoidable aspect of the profession. Professionals are required to talk to clients and colleagues, report to their superiors, hold meetings, present at conferences, and more. Many individuals who simply try to present themselves as friendly or sociable won’t make the cut because consultants are required to be sociable 24/7. When a consultant isn’t at the office or in a meeting, he or she might be networking or taking a group of clients to lunch.
Quick and Organized Thinking
Thinking strategically and organizing tasks is like stepping into the middle of a battlefield for a management consultant. They must know when to use what they have learned in order to the best ultimatum. Without this skill, it may take some time for an individual to reach a feasible solution; a luxury that most consultants don’t have.
Even if they are competitors in the same industry, working with the same products, services, and concerns, internally, all clients are different. A successful consultant is required to adapt to the needs of every single client, as well as meet the objectives set by his or her superiors. This is not a simple feat, even though most consulting firms specialize in specific industries and sectors.
Superior Math Skills
Even though calculators and spreadsheets are readily available. A consultant must also be well versed in the technical aspect of the occupation. This includes mental math abilities as well as analytical skills. Imagine pulling out a calculator in the middle of a presentation in front of the senior staff in a multi-national company. More importantly, the computation must be accurate. It’s true that most computations are rough averages or estimates, but even so, the margins provided by a management consultant aren’t too far off the actual mark.
Think Outside the Box
One of the main reasons that leading companies hire management consultants is because of their point of view. It’s difficult to spot internal problems within a large company when you’re part of its daily operations. Furthermore, some of the staff are so used to the structure and business functions that they are unable to pinpoint the weak spots. A successful consultant can walk into a company, analyze the facts and figures, identify the areas that need to be improved, and find a viable solution for implementation.
Drive and Motivation
It’s easy to spot successful management consultants. They talk a little differently, and move with confidence, without being too arrogant. Their work is always thorough and they know how to make the most out of seemingly hopeless situations. Lastly, they are always working towards a goal and are never satisfied with mediocre results.
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