How can I become a good advisor

Start in counseling: Top 10 beginner mistakes

Every second consultant falls on his nose at least once in the first 3 months. In our Top 10 we show you the 10 most common beginner mistakes and what is actually expected of management consultants.

As a young consultant, you will be thrown into freezing water. And then the first customer contact fails or your analysis does not convince the project manager. Ruin or apprenticeship? How do you deal with failure as a budding consultant? If your answer here is not "lessons can be learned from mistakes", you have yet to learn to fail. Because failure can be done in many ways. And at least every second beginner in a management consultancy has his or her own story ready.

1. No persuasiveness

Do you have your own opinion? Nice, but that alone doesn't make you a good consultant. You have to convince your counterpart of your point of view, get them carried away and show them a perspective - especially if it hurts. Because: Conflicts with customers alone make up a third of problem cases in business. Not surprising, after all, he is deeply rooted in the company and either does not want to see the necessary changes or cannot implement them. You need to be persuasive!

Insider tip

Stand by your opinion! Even if you - at first glance - are not doing the customer a favor. You are the advisor. Hold the mirror up to the customer. Convince him of what is best for the company - even if it will be painful. Of course, it's about the right words. But not only: 93 percent of our information is conveyed para- and non-verbally and only seven percent through verbal communication. You can expect very different types of customers in everyday consultancy. It is important to have a feeling for how to deal with which customer in order to be successful in advising in the long term.

2. An idea alone is not enough

Creativity is beautiful. But without problem-solving skills, you won't get very far in consulting. A consultant accompanies the customer's process from planning to implementation of the goals. This also includes the fundamental analysis of framework conditions and feasibility. What does that mean for you? Not only to set goals, but also to know the way to get there.

Insider tip

In order to interpret numbers, you need to develop your analytical and conceptual strengths. And you can train that. For example, with targeted case training. Here you can solve cases of all kinds in order to develop problem-solving strategies. You will learn how to break down a problem into its individual components - and how to solve it.

3. Be careful, tote bags

Advice is relentless. There are no studies to solve here, but companies and fates to be guided. No time to dig deeper, repeat, or ask stupid questions. Trant bags and sleepyheads, which take too much time to see problems, are wrong in counseling. Maybe that's one of the reasons why the drop-out in the consulting industry is 15-20 percent - including those who are encouraged to leave the company.

Insider tip

Quick perception is a talent. You have it - or you don't. What can you do? At least develop a feeling for the level of detail. Get an overview of the details of a project, but don't bite into every detail. The 80-20 approach helps here. Achieve a result with 80 percent quality in 20 percent of the time that is required for a perfect result: It is therefore important to identify the superfluous 20 percent. This includes details that are irrelevant to the actual project and only distract you.

4. Lack of empathy

In addition to a quick grasp on the factual level, as a consultant you also need to be quick on the emotional level: identify and exercise social relationships. If there is a lack of empathy, it is not possible to understand group dynamics and to find out how to approach individuals. Consultants are also people with a heart.

Insider tip

One night welds you together? Something like that. Connecting, shared moments with the customer are crucial. For example, the famous nights that you sacrificed together for a project. A good connection with the customer is essential in order to be successful as a consultant in the long term. After all, you don't build relationships with companies, but with people. A consultancy activity consists of 70 percent cooperation with the customer. And for this it is also worth getting to know the person behind the customer - especially on a joint working level. A coffee in the coffee kitchen, where you ask about your hobbies or your next travel destination - peppered with your own anecdote, can work wonders. Because at the same time it also shows that there is only one person behind the consultant.

5. Motivation hole

Actually, it goes without saying: Nobody wants advice without ideas or has to ask for progress first. Often the customer lacks the courage to make changes. If not even the consultant is behind the project, then all efforts are in vain.

Insider tip

Customers love convincing types. Better to make a mistake than to proceed too carefully and not show any motivation. Failure is not the same as failure. This is especially true in the advisory team. No project manager wants to have to drive his team. Be proactive, bring your own ideas and prove “ownership” for your topic. That not only makes it more exciting for you, but the project manager will also thank you in the feedback. Choose projects based on your interests. You will quickly notice: the higher your motivation in the job, the better the results - and that makes you hot for the next project.

6th Responsibility - What's That?

As a consultant, you have a great responsibility: for the lives of others. This is part of the lasting effect of your consultancy services. And it is at the same time a "figurehead of your own advice". You are already thinking about your own profit and ignoring what is best for the customer? And bye, because with such an attitude failure as a consultant is inevitable.

Insider tip

Despite the stress and pressure to perform, you have to concentrate on showing your customer a sense of responsibility. What is right, what is wrong? Keep the project goals in mind to make appropriate decisions.