Hiring a consultant is a great way to get an objective, third-party perspective on your business. A consultant can help you solve problems, optimize production, and break through barriers to growth. What makes a great consultant? Look for these nine qualities.
- Communication Skills
- Time Management Skills
- Good Judgement
- Willingness to Teach
- Keen Observation
- Work Ethic
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A dedicated consultant is a skilled professional who is committed to helping your business succeed. Always start by investigating a potential consultant’s CV, background, experience, and skills and checking their references.
2. Communication Skills
To develop a plan that meets your needs and goals, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your consultant from the outset. Your consultant should have excellent listening skills and be willing and able to keep you apprised of their progress. Make sure your consultant is able to communicate with you in the manner you prefer, whether that is primarily face-to-face meetings, email updates, telephone calls, or another method.
3. Time Management Skills
A good consultant uses time efficiently. Look for a consultant who offers ROI consulting agreements, which tie achievement benchmarks to compensation. These make sure a consultant has every incentive to work quickly and effectively and helps you keep control of the budget and time spent on the project.
4. Good Judgment
An outside perspective allows a consultant to evaluate problems and make recommendations that aren’t colored by personal involvement, attachment, or emotions. A good consultant takes the time necessary to gather and analyze all of the relevant facts before advising a client.
If you’re hiring a consultant to supplement your team’s resources by bringing in expert skills or knowledge, make sure your potential candidates have the expertise you need. Review the candidates’ CVs, get references from other organizations, and have the potentials meet with the team members they would be working with so they can assess the consultants’ qualifications.
6. Willingness to Teach
Especially if you’re bringing in a consultant with technical expertise, a willingness to pass on some of that expertise to your team can be invaluable. While you may not need a permanent full-time expert in your consultant’s field, your investment can pay dividends if the consultant passes on some of their knowledge to your permanent staff. Look for a consultant who is willing to help your organization’s team become more knowledgeable and self-sustaining after the project is complete.
7. Keen Observation
Consultants can help you come to creative solutions and look at the bigger picture. They can also help you solve tricky little problems along the way. A good consultant is always problem solving and is always a step ahead, keeping their eyes on both the forest and the trees.
Hiring a consultant means opening up your business and candidly discussing its well-being with an outsider. While this can be extremely valuable, it’s also a risk. Make sure that your consultant is trustworthy, and take appropriate legal steps to protect your trade secrets and other intellectual property.
9. Work Ethic
Your consultant should be an inspiration to both you and your team: disciplined, persistent, and focused on an end goal. A hardworking consultant can re-energize an organization suffering from low employee morale, turnover, and general dissatisfaction and spark life into your workplace.
The expert consultants at Cornerstone Consulting Organization offer top-notch consulting services around the globe. Our operations consulting, ROI consulting, and engineering consulting professionals have a wide range of experience and knowledge in many industries and technical specialties, including automotive, retail, heavy equipment, defense contracting, food manufacturing, aerospace, and healthcare.