Management consulting is the trendy job that everyone is talking about. You’ve probably heard about it from your friends or family. But what’s all that buzz about management consulting? Most of the time, the job scope seems ambiguous without any specific skill set. To answer your question, management consultants are problem solvers. It is different from being a business analyst or accountant where hard skills like SQL and excel knowledge is required. They work with organisations to identify and solve complex business problems like improving business processes and operational issues which are cross-functional. Think, Industry 4.0 digital transformations like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning! Depending on the industry that you are working with, certain expertise like computing and engineering are valued. Find out 5 soft skills that every management consultant should possess.
Creative Problem Solving
Solving problems are not easy, that’s why you are here to help your clients! The rapidly -changing economy means that innovative solutions are needed for new problems. Think out of the box and dare to imagine. Conventional solutions just won’t cut it. Arm yourself with an arsenal of creative solutions to impress your clients. Chances are, they have already tried and tested the old methods.
Strategic Thinking Skills
It is a no-brainer to devise new solutions, yet what matters is that they are viable. You have to ensure that these solutions are within the budget and the benefits have to outweigh the costs. Now that’s challenging! Clients don’t want to know only the benefits. They want to know the risks involved and how changing the business processes can affect the different job functions and departments. Your role is to see the big picture and connect the dots. Similarly, playing the devil’s advocate to your solutions is highly valued amongst clients.
Clear Communication Skills
Imagine, your client has entrusted you to advise on business strategies and processes. Your poor communication caused your client to misinterpret your advice which led to profit losses. Now that’s the situation we want to avoid. Be precise in your explanation and check with your clients to ensure that everyone is on the same page. If you are new in this industry, always ask for feedback and be prepared to practise, practise and more practise!
Good Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills are the foundation of management consulting. Think of yourself as a salesperson trying to sell a product. The key to gaining your client’s trust is relationship building. Go beyond performance and metrics and strive to forge a strong connection with them. Don’t do all the talking! Try to understand the needs of your client before you advise and analyse their business processes.
Learning doesn’t stop after you graduate! Knowledge is power in this fast-paced economy. Being at the top of the latest industry trends enables you to excel in your role as a management consultant. It guides your judgement and helps you to make informed decisions. Separately, ask focused questions to better understand your client’s business needs. The more information you gather, the more effective the proposed solution.
Are you equipped with the skills needed to be a successful management consultant? Don’t be deterred if you are lacking in these skills. It takes experience and time to build these skills and even the best management consultants started from the bottom. Stay eager to learn and passionate about self-improvement. Success comes to those who continuously seek to improve themselves.
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