Like any other endeavor on this planet, when it comes to consulting, some people do it well, some average, and the rest truly awful. Somewhere along the way, those who fall into the latter two categories missed out or were asleep that day in class. In case this describes you, pay attention! Here are four critical things a consultant must do.
Never assume the customer is rational: Since they hired you, obviously there are already problems. Expect to encounter irrationality and then figure out how to overcome it without alienating your client. Hey, we never said this stuff is easy but if you go in completely unaware that there might be erratic thinking on the other side of the desk â€“ well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
If you don’t know how to solve a problem, learn quick or find someone who does: The important part is to not waste time sitting around pretending like you know something you don’t, or delaying the entire project when you could easily hire someone to fix the issue.
Never complain: This little bit of advice should be adopted by every person who attempts consulting â€“ complaints seem to be programmed into our human genetic makeup. Here’s a tip. Don’t do it. You got hired because managers are up to their ears in complaints and no one’s taking action. Be the hero that steps in without complaint and affects positive change. If you can’t do that, why did you take the job in the first place?.
Don’t undervalue integrity: This is your stock in trade. Never compromise on principles. If driven to that point, it’s better to find a way to work around it or quit. Without integrity, you have nothing in your bag of consulting tricks.
Do these four points encompass all you need to become an excellent consultant? Umm…no. Not even close. Consider it a starting point. You’re going to have to come up with some on your own. But never fear, we’ll be here for you dispensing advice as it comes to us.
The Speaking of Wealth Team