The experienced and competent consultant should remain current in every aspect of the environment that affects his/her work: This covers Political, Environmental, Social/ societal, Technical, Legal and Economic aspects and relates to all the domains of competence:
- It is imperative to remain aware of developments in the management, specialist and consulting fields.
- The certified consultant needs to prove this through a continuing professional development (CPD) record.
Specialist competencies are those on which the consultant provides leading edge advice and may be split into two broad categories:
1. Functional and technical competencies include finance, Strategy, HR, project management, production, marketing, IT etc.
2. Industry specific or sectoral competencies – financial sector, public etc.
Continued learning and development
- A consultant needs to have a lifelong learning mindset. In order to achieve this, he/she needs to:
- Set appropriate personal objectives.
- Proactively seek development opportunities.
Professional Competencies – (Personal and Interpersonal)
This is about acting, communicating and thinking as a management consultant ought to.
ACTing like a Management Consultant
This is the behavioural aspect of the consultant and has much to do with the “attitude” as competence. Remember, competence was defined as a combination of knowledge, skill and attitude.
The consultant needs to be emotionally intelligent (25 competencies – eiconsortium.org), an above average communicator, a good listener, astute, self-driven, motivated, be able to solve problems, be politically astute, and remain independent and objective in difficult situations and much more.
- This requires an all-rounder who can perform well in different contexts.
- Professional Attitude/behaviour.
- The provision of the required professional advice
- Professional conduct/ethics.
- Ability to deal with client culture and diversity.
- Ability to motivate and develop people and Lead.
- Ability to manage conflict.
- Ability to Facilitate, Mentor, Coach and in essence apply the required intervention at the correct time.
- Interpersonal and communication skills (listening/verbal/written).
- Convincing proposals and oral presentations.
- Marketing and selling skills.
- Influencing and Rapport building.
- Well-structured client communications and concise reports.
The consultant needs to be a multi-dimensional thinker, who can perform under difficult circumstances by using a variety of techniques.
- Creativity – “out of the box thinking”.
- Problem solving.
- Lateral and linear thinking.
- Seeing the end from the beginning.
- Being able to plan for contingencies.
- Having a flexible approach.
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I am able to state a problem and objectives clearly and succinctly
I recognize the difference between rational and creative problems
I am skilled in rational and creative thinking techniques
I am able to summarize concepts well and can synthesise disparate thoughts and information
I am able to get others to see my perspective and point of view
I can keep people on schedule according to a plan
I am willing and able to challenge others’ thinking and viewpoints if I consider them to be ineffective
I can recognize key trends, patterns and similarities
I can recognize key differences, variations and exceptions
I am willing to ask for help when stuck
I can evaluate options critically and effectively
I have a range of proven techniques at my disposal
I am able to facilitate creative thinking sessions well
I am able to generate and contribute new ideas