Sometimes, the best thing to do to grow a business is to hire a consultant, especially if you are seeking to drastically improve one facet of your business. The specialized expertise of a consultant is one thing—but a truly effective consultant is also a leader, able to take control of the issue at hand and direct how to solve it in the most efficient manner.
A consultant’s ability to lead a team is vital. As a consultant is typically parachuted into an organization to create change, it is natural that they will face some resistance from established members of the team in place.
There are many reasons for this: a fear that they will be exposed, uncertainty at where their role lies with the introduction of a consultant, or simply good old fashioned territorialism and wounded pride at having an outsider come in to perform what they perceive as their job.
As problem solvers, it is imperative that the consultant display good leadership skills in order to soothe these fevered brows and move towards getting the team to move forward and implement change.
Part of this leadership is interpersonal skills: building a relationship with the team, communicating clearly what needs to be done, and developing a rapport with the team that overcomes the initial misgivings to build trust.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to be a mentor: in many situations, a consultant has arrived because in-house staff, for whatever reason, lacks the expertise to tackle a specific problem. By sharing knowledge, a consultant enhances their reputation and shows the in-house team that they are working together to fix the issue.
Leadership skills are a positive attribute, and an essential part of the consultant’s toolkit. More than just managing others, it is also about effectively communication for improved outcomes.