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3 Tips to Becoming an Expert Consultant

If you have previous experience in consulting, you know it can be extremely rewarding but also brings some unique challenges.  A consultant needs to have a good level of business and emotional intelligence to know when and how to ask specific questions, have the ability to take over a project and even be prepared to jump into chaos. How you handle and understand these situations can affect the outcome of your consulting assignment. So, what makes an excellent consultant? There are many nuances behind being a skilled consultant, here are three tips for success:

1. Do Your Homework:

Learn as much as you can about who you are meeting with, the company and the team you could likely be partnering with.  Spend quality time on the company website getting to understand and know the organization. Check out their social networking presence, what is most important to them, what are they posting about and how are they portraying their brand? Don’t forget to use your connections and ask questions to those who have had experience with the company. Taking the time to do your homework will ensure you are prepared and fully know what you are walking into. Along with that and perhaps most important, get an understanding of why you are being brought in, is it a specific project or day to day backfill?  Get as many questions answered as possible, upfront so you are clear about the assignment expectations for success!

2. Be Curious, Proactive, and Flexible:

Jump in quickly- be curious and proactive as you learn the organization and build relationships.  Bring your ideas and experience- it’s what you were hired to do but also be flexible.  It is important to meet the client where they are.  Understanding their company culture, priorities, and openness to change will be key to being successful.  Every situation and organization is unique, with varying levels of ambiguity.  Be open to taking their lead and following their processes.  Taking feedback and working in their style can be critical to a successful assignment. To do this effectively you will need to observe, adapt and connect with the company’s practices. However, on the flip side of that, remember to also offer your consultative perspective.  With your background and knowledge of differing practices, share what you, as the expert, have seen.

3. Communication and Alignment of Project Success:

Create a regular communication routine with your primary contact for your Consulting assignment.  If you have multiple stakeholders, get alignment on preferred communication channels to ensure opportunity for questions and updates on project status.  At the outset of the assignment, talk about key metrics for success.  Be sure you understand how the client will define success and what milestones are in place along the way.   In addition, create a tracking system for summarizing project work and status.  Depending on the assignment, these documents can be shared resources or a personal tool for you to track progress.  Lastly, be sure to partner with your Versique Recruiter to provide support and ensure a successful assignment for both you and the client.  Your recruiter will reach out regularly to check in but feel free to reach out anytime for support, we love to be thought partners and share our ideas from other projects.

Applying these tips will have you on your way to becoming an expert HR consultant.

Are you looking for your next consulting role or top consulting talent? Learn more about Versique’ s HR Consulting and Finance Consulting practice areas!