How did I grow as a consultant during my first year?
Like the start of many careers, in the beginning, there is much to learn and let sink-in before you become proficient and comfortable within your role. The consulting profession is no different, however, there are some things that set it apart from most careers. You are given the opportunity to help people in a way that is sometimes difficult for others to wrap their minds around. Working with individuals and teams of people through challenging problems to provide successful outcomes for clients can be extremely rewarding, but also requires a certain attention to how you conduct yourself. Here are a few things I have found to be crucial for success as a consultant:
Self-Awareness: Live in the Moment
Remaining engaged in the task at hand will lead to better results. You inevitably will find yourself becoming distracted or overwhelmed, so make sure to keep focused on the task at hand and see it through to completion. Be flexible to work on different things at once, but completing a task before moving on to the next one will help save you time later on when you’re prioritizing your to-do list.
Self-Management: Keep Your Emotions in Check
Working on complex problems for a client can challenge your limits of what feels comfortable, and can at times cause you more frustration if something or someone pushes your buttons while working towards a solution. Resist the temptation to get frustrated with the things you can’t change. Remain calm and communicate your concerns clearly while remaining open to alternative solutions.
Social-Awareness: Be Receptive to Others
Look at the bigger picture. Thinking outside of the what’s “always been done” can lead to bigger ideas that will serve the client. Be respectful of the progress that has been made, while keeping in perspective what is missing or what is possible to enhance the clients’ current standard processes.
Relationship-Management: Engage With Others
As a consultant, your role is not merely to show up and just “do your job”. You’re the consultant, so consult. It’s important to speak up in conversations with the client and your team in most situations. Even if it isn’t explicitly stated, your input is greatly valued.
In summary, most careers nowadays require you to engage with others and place an emphasis on managing your emotions in an intelligent manner. What makes consulting different is that it provides you both the opportunity to help people overcome challenging problems in a way that makes life better for the client, but also allows you the opportunity to become a better version of yourself.
Do you want to learn more about how you can be a better consultant? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start a conversation.