The process of flawless consulting is concerned about one having an impact when one is undertaking the role of consultancy. Like any other discipline worth its salt, it involves the adherence to critical skills of consultancy, critical techniques that assist to consult flawlessly and being conversant with methods to effectively deal with sponsors and management. Consulting skills consist mostly of project management, facilitation and collaboration, problem solving, communication, data analysis and spreadsheet management skills.
Peter block refers to a consultant as a person who is in position to have influence over others; individuals, groups or organization, but one who lacks the power to change or implement programs. Seven critical skills of flawless contracting Peter block identified the seven critical skills for consultants. In the modern times the growing importance of consulting roles makes it necessary to study the various skills involved. A look at the consulting skills is essential in ensuring one is armed with the information that will keep one operating on the business edge.
Managers pore into business data collected in order to make insights and to make better decisions. The skills undertaken data analysis skills, spreadsheet modeling skills, consulting skills, problem solving skills, communication skills, and project facilitation, management, and collaboration skill are all important tools the consultant must possess in order to deliver according to the standards of the current market. Data analysis skills manipulate large datasets quickly to come up with a hypothesis, weight trends and consequently prioritize the important and the less important facets of the issue of analysis.
this entails ability to clean data by the use of excel functions, or manipulate data via access relational database, or identify and conceptualize graphical trends , compare measures of statistics that is mean and the medians (Beich, 2007). Spreadsheet modeling skill is a requirement to effectively manipulate and analyze data in workbooks of spreadsheets through fitting use of pivot tables, dynamic graphs, functions of statistics functions of text etc this skill is important in ensuring error free readable spreadsheet models.
This is reflected in logical entries in columns, series, ranges, among other practices. Problem solving skills are those skills those skills that include structuring of the problem and also its framing before manipulating the data in any possible way. In this the problem to be solved is identified. Clarity on the problem is sought so that objectives, constraints, alternatives and uncertainties are identified. This skill enables the consultant to understand the whole range of issues assailing a problem and then fragmenting the problem into smaller questions which can be solved by more focused analysis.
The problem that faces the consultant in the first instance is ambiguous and complex so they want to make their analyzing job as easy as possible via sound problem structuring. They use what they know about the problem to in developing the initial hypothesis on the problem and make up the solutions. They then break the hypothesis so that they can be effectively analyzed subsequently. Project facilitation, collaboration and management skills are also important in consultancy as consultancy process brings the organization team together to tackle problems.
Team collaboration is essential in devising a broad commitment to a strategy. The consultant comes across as a disinterested third party hence he is in good position to effectively plan and also coordinates tasks. The unbiased position of the consultant is of use when stakeholders from different establishments need to support a decision in whole. In order to capitalize on the asset of a consultant as a collaborator in this manner, skills on project management and facilitation are a must.
Communication skills are the other important skill that is important. It is vital in causing alignment on decisions and promotes commitment to action. A consultant must be able to write down ideas and structure presentations that clearly communicate the rationale of the suggestion in a way that is simple to comprehend and which is compelling to the management. A good presentation for instance is not only about analysis but should be showing insights and providing revelations behind the conclusions.
Communication skills are vital for the consultant to convince the decision makers that they have the right solution. The decision reached should be easy to relate, even if the problem was complex at the start (Beich, 2007). Of the skills discussed here, problem solving skills is most paramount. It is the hardest to learn and it is easily overlooked for the most times. However all the others are important in their way and leaving one out would be sloppiness for the consultant.