What makes a good Management consultant?

Have you ever dealt with a Management Consultant? If so, what stood out to you about their characteristics?

When a Management consultant is brought in to the business it can create a defensive mode with the employees and Leader’s, that can easily result in the consultant’s time being wasted as well as the business’s money they are paying to the consultant.
From personal experience the attributes you need are:

Approachable – so people talk to you, otherwise you never get to the bottom of problems.  Being interested and engaged makes a huge difference, as we all know and demonstrating positive body language and active listening shows you are interested and want to know more.  Really listening is vital. Takes me back to when I was involved in debt collecting and it was often what wasn’t said that was crucial.

Supportive – I personally believe that if a business has asked me to go in, then they are making an investment in their business and I need to go the extra mile. A good Management consultant spends a lot of time at home preparing and should share the latest thinking and ideas to help the business grow. Often 1-2-1 coaching is needed and through this, the consultant should build confidence for the person and give tools and techniques for the person to use in the future.

Problem-solving – Personally I think a Management consultant needs a cocktail of problem-solving tools that they feel comfortable with and that they can pass on to the business to use, once they leave.  Time and time again, I hear employees say no-one is interested in our problems.  By using these tools with them, it creates engagement, finds an answer to the problem and creates improvement, including usually an increased performance shift.  I always recall a team who stated they couldn’t see what a problem solve event would give them.  I ran their event and at the end of it, they said felt listened to, knew there were solutions now and most importantly it hadn’t been stuffy and in fact, they’d had fun.  Fun is key in any of these events to help people be creative.

Information gatherer – As a Management consultant, you need to analyse masses of information and pick out the right parts to make the recommendations. In my view, this is all part of the problem-solving. Something I’ve revelled in throughout my career. Lately, I’ve been involved in scoping out changes and analysing business information and making sure I understood the business was vital to the process. People say you need to know the business but what is more important is the ability to understand the information and get people to open up.

Experience and Qualified – It’s great having all the theory but what would you prefer, someone who has been through these many work experiences or someone who just knows the theory. To me, nothing beats the experience and every day I will help someone using my 30 years’ experience in Leadership and Project Management. It gives me a great feeling supporting these people and they go away adapting my solutions to work for them. What is there to lose?
Before I started my business I also studied for a diploma in professional consulting because I wanted to make sure I was following the methodology correctly and that I understood the rudiments. I have met some consultants who have never trained on the rudiments. What it means to me, is that I have the confidence that I’m doing things the right way.

What other characteristics would you highlight for a good Management consultant?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Nicola

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