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Three Essentials for Your Consulting Skill Set

Three Essentials for Your Consulting Skill SetIn order to perform a job successfully, you need to possess the proper skills. Architects, designers and engineers need to be able to visualize solutions, teachers need to be able to relate new concepts and ideas to young minds, scientists need certain skills to operate sensitive pieces of equipment – the list could go on and on. Consultants are no different. If you are interested in becoming a consultant, you'll need to posses a consulting skill set that allows you to perform your work effectively.

If you're at a point in your career where you're thinking about making a change, it's likely that you have the experience and knowledge necessary to make a positive difference in the world as a consultant. However, you might not feel confident about your skills. If you're ready to make your move and you feel like you have the ability to take your assets and turn them into a career, the next step is ensuring that your consulting skill set is enhanced with the following crucial skills:

Communication and Other “Soft Skills”

As a consultant, you won't be hired to operate machinery or perform feats of technical dexterity with technology. Sure, your work will be enhanced if you're able to demonstrate some modern tech savvy, but that won't be the focus of your responsibilities. Instead, you'll need to be able to exercise an ability to communicate well, which is one of the so-called soft skills.

Communication, mentoring, team-building, coaching and conflict management are incredibly important skills for consultants to possess. Maybe these skills come easily to you. If so, it's important that you work to maintain and sharpen them. If these skills aren't a natural component of your toolbox, you'll need to put in the work to improve them. Thankfully, if you put forth the proper effort and take the appropriate amount of time to do so, you can improve your communication skills.


If you were the leader of an organization, why would you bring a consultant into the fold? One of the most common reasons to hire a consultant is to experience the benefit of a different perspective. If your organization required improvement, you would want to know how it is viewed from the outside-in instead of from the inside-out. You would also be interested in knowing what the future looks like from an outside perspective.

As a consultant, you'll be asked to provide your unique perspective on issues, but you'll also be needed to provide a vision for the future. Do you have trouble seeing issues from multiple points of view? Is it difficult for you to extrapolate possible futures from available evidence? If “yes” is your answer, then it's time to work on your skills of perception and vision. Examine situations and try to see them from as many points of view as possible. Think about issues not just as problems to be solved in the here and now, but as opportunities to make a positive vision of the future into a reality.

Your Unique Identity

This isn't a skill, per se, but it's something that will set you apart from other consultants and make you attractive to potential clients. Your identity as a professional is unique – no one else can claim the exact same mix of personality, knowledge and experience that you possess, making you incredibly valuable as a consultant. This isn't a skill that you can acquire; you already own it. The key is to be able to leverage your identity in your role as a consultant. Understand what makes you unique, and you'll be able to sell your skills and abilities to others more effectively.

If you're wondering if you have the consulting skill set necessary to find success in your new career, you can rest easy. The fact of the matter is that you've got the knowledge and experience necessary to find success in consulting. It's up to you to recognize your unique skills and nurture them accordingly. Then, it will only be a matter of time before you and your skills are sought by businesses and leaders looking for the help they need to move in a more positive direction.


Are you interested in learning more about the ideal consulting skill set? Check out our free consulting guides and download your free copy of Buddy Hobart's eBook, “Experience Matters” today.