Blog | Swell Consulting

9 Characteristics of a good consultant

by | Sep 11, 2019

Once you have made the right decision to hire a consultant, it’s time to start working. For the process to be successful, two key ingredients are needed:

Commitment and motivation from the accommodation (owner and team) to face the process with an open mind for analysis and a predisposition to change.

A consultant with certain characteristics to carry out a job well done. The consultant, like any other professional, must have certain personal skills to adequately respond to the job’s demands. But what are these characteristics?

How do you know if you have a good consultant?

Do not worry, we assume the professionalism of any person who offers their services as an expert in any subject. Below we present the 9 key characteristics you should identify in the perfect consultant:

1. Has broad and solid experience.

The consultant is an expert in the field, has a varied background and knows the field perfectly. They have the necessary skills and tools to solve any problem that arises or to see the potential that has not yet been developed in the business.

2. Knows how to listen.

The consultant’s active listening is the basis for the understanding that must exist between them and the client, and it is also the best way to get to know the company. The consultant must listen and gain the confidence of the team in order to obtain the most reliable information: this is the basis of the success of their analysis.

3. Has empathy.

The ability to put oneself in the client’s shoes is essential to knowing why certain decisions were made, how a particular situation was reached or how best to propose the actions to be executed.

4. Is consistent and honest.

The consultant must be consistent and honest to communicate to the client the difficulties, needs and commitments required for their performance to be successful. It’s not about saying yes to everything; the consultant must be clear and transparent with the client at the beginning, the middle and the end of the consultation, defining elements clearly so that everything can operate independently.

5. Is a good communicator.

Communication is the basis of any relationship. The consultant must not only be a good communicator; they must also know that the message (s) are correctly received by the client and the team, tweaking the language so everyone understands it. A consultant must be accessible, patient, and clearly explain everything needed to communicate.

6. Knows how to be a team player

This is key: a consultant’s work will always depend on the success of teamwork.They must know how to organize, adapt, motivate, “squeeze” if necessary and congratulate whenever the proposed goals and advances are achieved.

7. Has analytical and synthetic skills.

The consultant must be good at the partial or overall analysis of a company or organization. Most of the time, the problems that are detected are not isolated ones; they are usually the consequence of a series of circumstances that have to be taken into account to achieve the objective of the consultancy. The consultant must have the ability to analyze in depth any aspect and, at the same time, to schematize, break down and prioritize everything derived from that global analysis.

8. Is decisive, offers more than one solution that adapts to the client.

The consultant should have the ability, whenever possible, to offer more than one solution or proposal to optimize the business. Creativity here is a good asset. At the same time, they must offer plausible and sustainable solutions in time that, of course, adapt to the client and the circumstances, not “one size fits all.”

9. Is dynamic.

Routine, that dreaded word when applied to any relationship, including work relations. The revitalization and establishment of new organizational structures and new ways of communicating within a team are often a breath of fresh air that renews attitudes and increases motivation. The consultant must know how to motivate and energize teams; this forms the basis of their success in any company. Motivated teams will better execute actions outlined in the proposals.

In addition to these 9 characteristics, we must not forget that the consultant should know how to adapt to the established times and perform their task in the shortest possible time.The person doing the hiring is usually in a hurry to solve what worries them.

Certainly, the consultant provides an external view of someone who is trained and has knowledge and experience, someone who brings a qualitative change that is substantially beneficial to those who hire them.

You already have the clues to identify a good consultant. Now you can hire a consultant and determine if you’ve made the right choice: what are you waiting for?

Eva Pineda

Co-founder & Senior Consultant at Swell Consulting

eva@swell-consulting.com

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