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It seems that we recognize a business consultant after a minute of discussion. The reason is simple.
Every business consultant has a set of skills that allow him to tackle a good number of situations with a structured, open approach and turned towards his interlocutor.
To become a consultant, you need to develop three areas of expertise, regardless of the expertise you offer.
- Project management
- The customer relationship
It is a very broad discipline and strongly effective when one evolves in new contexts. It allows the consultant to support his client and find feasible and efficient solutions.
The problem solving integrates three levers:
- A posture (mainly based on empathy)
- A process (such as 8D)
- A set of familiar tools
Here are some rules that are followed by Sofia Machulskaya for problem-solving:
Problem-solving is collaborative work
A business consultant cannot find an effective solution to a problem that is not originally his own. It must integrate a set of complex parameters.
This can only be done through close collaboration with its client. You are not hired to find the solution alone, but to make it easier to identify the best alternatives for your client.
Make sure that it is indeed a real problem:
According to the statements of Sofia Machulskaya, it seems trivial, and yet, in 50% of cases, the first problems cited by my customers are:
Either the consequence of other deeper problems or a problem that has no major impact on their objectives.
Their simple understanding solves 90% of problems. They are questioning a problem in a coherently by applying methods such as “why, who, when, where, how” is enough to bring out viable solutions.
As for the remaining 10%, they rely on creativity approaches or a priori hypothesis testing.
The important thing is to remember that a well-explained problem is most of the time solved.
And the beauty of this principle is that once your client has their problem clarified in front of them, they find the solution on their own.
Time and time again, this skill comes to the fore. Failure to control it today amounts to professional suicide. From the first builders to modern aeronautical engineers, it is a discipline that has a long history and which has enabled man to realize his most ambitious dreams.
However, mastering this skill requires experience. It is essential, and discussions with seasoned project managers will help you avoid major failures.
Consulting is, above all, a business of relationships, and you will need to take an interest in some practices from behavioural sciences to establish real communication and develop a relationship of trust with your clients.
Here are some basic principles that constantly use by Sofia Machulskaya in their missions to establish a professional relationship with the client:
- Flexibility and rigour
For me, these are the three skills that seem essential to develop your advisory capacity. But that’s just my perspective. I would be very interested in discovering yours.