If you want to become a management consultant or start your own consulting business, there are certain skills you should have. Not only will these skills help you perform your job, they will make you more marketable to potential clients and make growing your business much easier.
You may possess some or all of these abilities already, but if you are lacking in some areas, consider taking a class or getting involved in a group or organization where you can practice using these skills and build up your potential.
If you are a creative thinker, you are probably good at thinking outside the box and solving problems. Being able to think outside the box is critical to being a good management consultant because your clients are relying on you to come up with solutions that they cannot see themselves.
Brainstorming is a great technique for coming up with new and different ideas and solutions. There are books on brainstorming that can help with this (for example, “How to Get Ideas” by Jack Foster). It is a cheap way to help you excel in your career.
The skill of communication is important in virtually any field, but when you are working with a client one-on-one, you cannot pretend to be a good communicator. Being able to listen and make the client feel like they are heard is a great asset. Understanding what a client and wants and being able to deliver just that will get you repeat business and referrals.
There are communication classes that teach students things like how to relate to others, social and business etiquette, how to be an effective team player, etc.. If you think that you need to enhance your communication skills, contact your local community college or city recreation department to see what classes are available.
These days, it is essential to be skilled in the area of computers and technology if you are going to be consulting other businesses. You will need to use computers and other modern technology to effectively communicate and provide services for your clients. In addition, your expertise in this area can assist your clients in more effectively using the latest technology themselves to increase the efficiency of their operations.
Your clients are depending on you to lead them in the right direction. Management consultants must be confident, decisive and inspiring to others in order to get them to follow and take action. Other traits of leaders include honesty, intelligence, competence and courage. While some of these are personality traits or values rather than learned skills, they are good to keep in mind when consulting with clients.
Ability to Work under Stress
Management consultants need to be able to work well even in stressful situations. Working with businesses means there will be lots of projects going on, a variety of people to deal with and of course deadlines. If you don’t handle stress well, you most likely will not enjoy your work, and it will show. However, if you thrive under stress and do your best work under deadlines, you can be a great asset to your clients.