In our latest article on consulting we discussed the benefits of consultancy. As a consultant you usually enjoy a varied job and lots of opportunities to quickly expand your knowledge, experience and professional network.

Despite these benefits though, consulting jobs are often overlooked by job seekers. This is a pity because consulting may very well be one of the most rewarding professions in the world… if you are a good fit for the job.

That’s what this article is all about: finding out whether you have what it takes to be a successful and a happy consultant.

8 Characteristics of great consultants

In this article we highlight 8 characteristics of great consultants. Some of these skills and behaviors can be learned or achieved by experience, others only to a certain degree.

Most importantly though, as a consultant you have to feel good about these characteristics. If not, you will probably be unhappy with your job. The quality of your work may suffer as a result.

If you do feel good about these characteristics though, if you recognize them and if you feel that they describe your personality and work ethic… you may very well have found your dream job!

Now, without further ado, here are 8 characteristics of great consultants. Let’s see how you stack up.

1. Great consultants are flexible

Great consultants adapt to new projects, work cultures and colleagues easily. They come in, they fit in and they get the job done. Their soft skills and technical expertise allow them to take on their roles quickly and easily.

2. Great consultants have great discipline

Great consultants work hard and they work smart. They know how to accomplish the best results in the shortest possible time with as little friction as possible. Great consultants are problem solvers: bring them in and the work gets done.

3. Great consultants are confident

8 Characteristics of Great Consultants - Pauwels ConsultingGreat consultants are confident about their skills and expertise. They expose a natural collaborative leadership and they leave their egos at the door. Great consultants are team players: they put company goals and team spirit first.

4. Great consultants are persistent

Great consultants don’t give up. They accept frictions, unforeseen circumstances and negative feedback, they learn from them and they move on. They will analyze and learn from every setback in order to prevent it from happening again.

5. Great consultants are studious

Great consultants never stop learning. They need to stay on top of the developments in their fields of expertise. It is their job to bring the latest knowledge and skills to the table when others can’t.

6. Great consultants are like… MacGyver

Remember MacGyver, the hero of the popular TV show? He could solve any problem with his mind and his Swiss army knife. The same goes for great consultants; they use skills and knowledge from previous projects to solve new problems and challenges.

7. Great consultants go further

Great consultants see the big picture and the small parts that can make it better. Consultants bring a fresh view, and as such they can offer surprising insights that can solve problems and boost the client’s business.

And last but not least:

8. Great consultants are sociable

Great consultants listen first and they speak second. Their primary goal is to help other people and businesses. Great consultants build trust because of their will to help their clients accomplish their goals.

What about you?

Evidently, this list is not exhaustive, but it gives a good indication of the mindset of great consultants. The varied nature of the job makes it a very challenging but also a very rewarding one.

So, having read this… Do you want to help other people and businesses meet and exceed their goals? And do you think you have what it takes to be a great consultant?

Then please have a look at our current job openings here at Pauwels Consulting. We are always looking for great team players to complement our consulting teams. You can access our job openings by pressing the red button below.


Questions or suggestions?

Do you have any questions or suggestions regarding the content of this article? Please do not hesitate to share them with us through the contact form below.

Did you enjoy this article? Please share it with your friends. Would you like to read more articles like this? Then please press the red button below to receive our future articles in your inbox as soon as they appear on this website.

25 replies
  1. Maggie Allen says:

    Although I don’t want to be a consultant, I do agree that this is a great list of qualities that a business consultant should have. In my opinion, one of the most important qualities you listed is the fourth one about being persistent. Business is grueling and tough, so it is important that you pick someone that will stick with you through thick and thin. As a business owner, you will almost certainly have tough challenges ahead, so picking someone persistent is important for any business, no matter how well it is doing.

  2. Ridley Fitzgerald says:

    These would definitely make a good consultant. I like how you mentioned that they are confident in their own skills. It’s always good to work with someone who seems to know what they are doing.

    • Derick Wafuia says:

      But some may be over confidence at the extent that they dont want to be corrected.How can that be solved

  3. Alan Melton says:

    “Great consultants are sociable.” I agree with this. Effective consultants should be observant We are hired to help fix things rather than screw it up more by being compulsive in making decisions. We should first weigh in the possibilities and consequences. Thank you for these great tips! Will strive more to possess all of these characteristics! 🙂

  4. Judy Caroll says:

    Good list Pauwels. It’s always up to if you choose between a successful and happy consultant. Why not choose both? Besides there are people that can help you build to become a great consultant. It takes time to be one of the -so called consultant but it’s all worth it.

  5. Michael Robinson says:

    I wish to find a consultant who has mastered all of these skills and qualities, especially the one about confidence. Just like you said, a great consultant is one who is confident in his experience and knowledge but leaves his ego at the door. I have been struggling lately at my work and think that bringing in a consultant would be really effective for us. I think that my boss would really like that. Thanks again!

  6. Taylor Bishop says:

    I just wanted to thank you for going over some qualities a good consultant should have. It’s good to know that they should know how to get the best results in a short time. I wonder if it could be beneficial to ask them about past experiences they’ve had and how long they worked to accomplish something.

  7. Amanda Drew says:

    I like how you point out that good consultants are staying on top of any and all developments in the field and will bring in the latest skills and knowledge. This would be really beneficial for learning the new programs and things that may be coming out. It’d also be helpful to get an outside perspective on your company because they could bring in new ideas. You’d just need to find the right consultation service.

  8. Sutton Turner says:

    I like how you said that great consultants work hard and they work smart. We are hiring an environmental consultant for our business. I appreciate the list of the best qualities for consultants.

  9. Jon Snow says:

    We are interested in a 1 hour keynote for an upcoming company meeting to train and communicate how to be an effective consultant. Including good habits, soft skills, customer engagement, etc. Please send me any information in this regard.

  10. Adrian Jones says:

    When it comes to consulting services, one of the great things to keep in mind is the fact that these people have the discipline to structure their lives and make sure to get the best results in the shortest possible amount of time with as little friction as possible. Another thing to keep in contact is that they’re adaptable with starting new ventures since they can adapt easily to make changes around the workplace. If I had the chance to work as a consultant I would have to be careful with my interactions as well as getting along with other people.

  11. NewYork York Consultants says:

    Just want to say your article is astounding. The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with incoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the fabulous work.

  12. Brad Price says:

    Loved the article. I believe that these are the few important qualities of a great consultant. Some are just behind the money, but some genuinely care about peoples businesses and the people who they work with. I loved the point that good consultants are studious, they never stop learning. As much knowledge as they get the more clarity and experience they gain from people. Thanks for the great article

  13. Applesamy Naidoo says:

    Excellent information with great clarity.
    However, finding someone with these traits is far reached based on my experience.
    Great work.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. What It Means To Be A Great Consultant − Carol Steeley | Edwards Performance Solutions says:

    […] are many skills, traits, and behaviors making up a stand out consultant.(1) Some are learned or gleaned by experience; others are innate to the individual. As you read through […]

  2. […] Because of this, you can be easily intimidated and start wondering how you can succeed in the consulting industry, which is very competitive in its nature. So, how can you become a great consultant? […]

  3. […] embarking on your freelance journey, evaluate what traits great consultants possess and see how your newly discovered personality characteristics […]

  4. […] days about how to be a good consultant. Forbes recommends 6 things every consultant should do. Paul Wells has the number at 8. A simple Google search for the keywords “how to be a good […]

  5. […] our previous article on consulting we wrote that top consultants are great marketeers. Top consultants are great at communicating […]

  6. […] our previous articles on consulting we discussed the benefits of consultancy and 8 characteristics of great consultants. As in any profession though some people distinguish themselves from the pack. They do even better […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *