10 Characteristics of a Management Consultant

August 3, 2016

I have represented Trindent at several recruitment sessions and am always asked a variation of: “What course best prepared you for Management Consulting?”. My short answer is that specific courses do not ultimately lead to success, but rather a combination of soft-skills and a strong work ethic. Digging deeper, successful consultants typically possess the following characteristics.

  1. Team Players: Ideal consultants will ‘fight in the trenches’ with their colleagues, are dependable, have a strong willingness to learn, and are receptive to feedback. They are not afraid to challenge ideas, but do so productively and with respect.
  2. Professional: Great consultants are able to relate to the client whilst maintaining professionalism. Building professional relationships is critical for project success, and when done effectively, consultants can quickly become a client’s trusted advisor.
  3. Influencers: The ability to instill change is contingent on one’s ability to influence. If a client feels like you have not adequately listened or cannot confidently outline the way forward, they will not be receptive to your solutions. Top consultants listen effectively, perform their due diligence, exude confidence, and continuously deliver on their promises.
  4. Analytical problem solvers: Analysis is at the core of what consultants do – we need team members who can analyze large amounts of data, ask the right questions, and deliver tangible results. Project managers and clients seek consultants who can detect the root cause and provide pragmatic solutions.
  5. Driven and productive: The best consultants are disciplined and work both hard and smart; they are able to deliver measurable results in the shortest amount of time. Exceptional employees have a deep and personal desire to perform; they are constantly driving towards the next best thing rather than simply trying to get the job done.
  6. Take initiative: Great consultants execute beyond their job descriptions or outlined deliverables. They think on their feet, seamlessly adapt to shifting priorities, and are constantly delivering results.
  7. Infinitely curious: The best people are rarely satisfied, somewhat skeptical, and like to continually challenge the status quo – not because it is expectation but because this desire burns in their core.
  8. Balance strategy and tactics: Consultants who can tie the big picture back to the here and now will ensure that the solutions they provide are practical today yet relevant tomorrow.
  9. Quick, organized thinkers: Consulting requires team members to digest large amounts of information, make quick decisions, and disseminate clear communications to their team and the client.
  10. Low neuroticism: Let’s face it – Management Consulting is often a high-stress profession, whether it is driven from having a tough client or tight project timelines. The most successful consultants are resilient, are able to manage their emotions, and ensure anxiety does not hinder performance.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a management consultant? Take a look at our current openings.

This blog was written by Alexandra Palmer, Senior Consultant at Trindent Consulting. She has gained the trust and respect of her team and clients through her diligence and work ethic. She has won a few Value Excellence Awards this year for demonstrating Perfection with Urgency and Character Before Skill. Most recently, she won the 2016 Consultant of the Year Award.