If we try to find the definition of a Business Consultant, we will probably learn that the mentioned Consultant is an Expert in some general or more specific Business field; with a very wide knowledge of that particular Subject Matter.
Still, even if the consultant possesses that vast knowledge, it should be obvious that the job of providing professional advice to Businesses cannot be based on theoretical knowledge alone.
To be successful, consultants need some other skills that can help them to turn their knowledge into concrete solutions. Let us try to find out what that particular skill is.
Important Consultant Skills
But before we find out what Consultant skill is the most important, we will first have to see what skills are not mandatory.
Let us take a look at some of the notable traits every consultant should possess, but which are not so integral to its practice.
– Leadership skills. Consultants are hired to take charge of improving some business’s aspects, or, in some cases, the entire business. The owners and managers expect Consultants to take control of their sinking ships and steer them into the safe waters. That is why the Consultant’s hand needs to be strong & steady, and his/her presence dominating and encouraging.
– Communication skills. To make this difficult burden upon itself, every Consultant needs to possess off the chart communication skills. Ability to get along with people, actively listening to them, and express his/her thoughts in an easy to understand & digestible manner is necessary for solving any kind of problem.
– Service-oriented personality. Motivation is the key to success in every business, Consulting included. That is why Consultants need to be willing to endure a lot of troubles and hard work to meet their clients’ demands.
The Essence of Consulting Captured in One Skill
Now that we covered the above traits, let us finally see what is the skill that makes the essence of every Business Consultant’s practice.
The answer is resourcefulness.
According to the Merriam –Webster dictionary, a resourceful person is capable of devising ways and means, the things without which the Consultant’s job of sorting out some Business issues would be virtually impossible. But how does that work in real-life?
– Resourcefulness is the way through which Consultants can translate their knowledge into real-life methods and solutions whenever they face some unexpected situation.
– As we already mentioned, communication skills make one of the pillars of Business Consulting, but if a Consultant is not resourceful enough, he cannot possibly hope to identify powerful coaching questions that will make his/her coaching sessions effective enough.
– Resourcefulness is the ability to play a few hands at once. Keep in mind that no matter how some strategy may be sound good in theory, it may, at some point go downhill. In that case, having one or even several backup strategies may be of vital importance.
The Skills That are Made Possible with Resourcefulness
But, even if these features are more than enough to justify resourcefulness’s position at the top of the skill food chain, it is important to remember that this talent also makes the foundation for other skills we commonly associate with Business Consulting. Here are two of them.
– Problem-solving. This is a very important skill every Consultant must have to retain his/her client. Dealing with different Businesses in different situations will certainly get a Consultant to a point when he/she has to be able to observe a problem from several perspectives and offer various solutions.
– Staying in touch with the industry. It goes without a saying that a top-notch Consultant has to be very well informed about the latest developments in the industry he is working in. How fast will the Consultant be able to discover the latest information, and how valuable that information will depend on the consultant’s resourcefulness.
As we can see, every consultant needs to be a Jack of all trades. This Jack, however, does not have the privilege to remain the master of none of them.
If the Business Consultant wants to keep his/her job and harness all the other trades he/she possesses, he/she should better try to become the master of resourcefulness.