Monday, April 28, 2014

The 7 Habits of Awesome Consultants

In my previous post, I wrote about the 7 Habits of Awesome Clients
All relationships are give and take. Therefore, a good client is only as good as the consultant. 

Here are the 7 Habits of Awesome Consultants:

1. Understand Client NeedsAll awesome consultants focus on client needs and existing problems instead of trying to sell 'readymade' solutions. They use emotional intelligence to empathise with clients and understand things from the client's perspective to ask the right questions. They are customer-focussed, speak the client's language and capture both explicit and implicit needs.

2. Demonstrate Competence - All awesome consultants are trained for and competent at their job and use their expertise to meet client needs. They are lifelong learners and build varied experience with each engagement. They demonstrate their competence by educating their clients and providing unique insights to enable clients to make more informed decisions. 

3. Communicate Effectively - All awesome consultants communicate with clients 
and keep the process transparent. They are good listeners and inform and collaborate to get to the desired end result. They are able to explain complex ideas in simple terms. They are not afraid to say 'no' and are able to communicate bad news. They are honest and objective and act as a 'trusted advisor' for their clients.

4. Add Value and Build Trust - All awesome consultants are confident about what they bring to the table and show how they add value to the work. They meet and exceed expectations and are motivated to ensure that their clients succeed. They demonstrate integrity and professionalism and gain the trust of clients. They are passionate about sharing their knowledge and go beyond the scope of work for the current project.

5. Are Proactive and Innovative - All awesome consultants are proactive and anticipate possible problems. They are resourceful and are able to solve challenges. In doing so, they are innovative and are open to ideas and new ways of doing things. They listen to their clients attentively and are willing to take risks, be convinced by good reasoning and want to innovate.

6. Committed to Quality - All awesome consultants are quality conscious and show their commitment to quality by investing the right time and skills required to meet the desired goals including timelines and key deliverables. They use effective and efficient systems and processes and have rigorous quality assurance systems to always deliver the best to their clients.

7. Build Relationships - All awesome consultants value their clients and the work they do. They speak well for their clients and look to build long-term relationships. 
They have a positive attitude about the relationship and stay engaged and connected with their clients long after the project has been completed.

“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” Peter Drucker