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Make the Best of Your Consulting DNA

Optimize Your Consulting Skills Training

You may remember the nature vs. nurture issue in regard to where positive human traits (such as strong abilities) and negative human traits (such as diseases) come from. Those who land on the nature side of the argument profess that it is all predestined and based on our DNA. Those who favor the nurture side believe that how we are raised and what we experience is the primary driver.

In the end, the answer is usually that Consultant Developmentboth are involved, and both are important factors.Such is the case with our development as consultants. We are all born with natural abilities and tendencies, which you may think of as our consulting DNAs. We are also affected by our collective experiences, acquired knowledge, and learned beliefs - the nurture side of the coin. Thus, as consultants we are all unique characters and special blends of nature AND nurture.

But why, you may ask, does this matter to me? The answer has to do with your development as a consultant. If you would like to be the best you can be and optimize your growth, development and career as a consultant, you must first understand your consulting DNA. Then you can leverage it with your continued development.

Assessing Your Consulting DNA

Advance Consulting has helped thousands of people develop themselves as consultants. We learned early on that the better we can help people connect our consulting skills training to their own consulting DNAs,the more Consultant Developmenteffective the training outcome. To do this, we ask our workshop participants to complete a self-assessment of who they are as a consultant. The result of that assessment, which we call the Consulting Profile Assessment Report, essentially paints a picture of the participant’s consulting DNA. This is a research-based assessment developed with data from over 3,000 consultants from around the world. It took us many years to figure out the best way to assess, and then describe, a professional’s “Consulting DNA.”

The Consulting Profile Assessment Report consists of four parts:
  • Consulting Style Description: It turns out there are eight different Consulting Styles. No style is better or worse than another. Whatever your style, you can be an effective consultant. Your Consulting Style Description provides a portrait of you as a consultant.

  • Consulting Dimension Scores: When we look at how we behave and operate as consultants, it breaks down into three primary dimensions: how we engage and build relationships with clients and others, how we build alignment among people, and how we execute our work as consultants. Each of these dimensions is a continuum, with polar opposites at each end. For example, on the Client Relationship continuum there is a personal approach to building relationships at one end, and an intellectual approach at the other. People tend to fall somewhere in between these two extremes, but have a tendency toward one end or the other. The degree of that tendency is represented by their Consulting Dimension Score for that particular dimension. These scores add detail and richness to a consultant’s understanding of their Consulting Style.

  • Consultative Roles Profile: To be effective consultants we must play different roles with our clients depending on the situation in the moment. Sometimes we must play the Technical Expert role. Sometimes the Strategist role is necessary to help clients see the bigger picture. And sometimes we need to Coach our clients. In all, there are eight Consultative Roles. The Consultative Roles Profile shows consultants their tendencies in playing each of these roles. Most people are more comfortable playing certain roles than others. We tend to play the roles we are best at. In general, the Consultative Roles Profile provides consultants with another actionable view into their consulting DNA.

  • Prescriptive Advice: This final section of the report provides consultants with prescriptive advice on how to further develop as a consultant. It provides advice on how to leverage their consulting DNA, including things to keep doing, things to start doing, and things to avoid or stop doing.

Individual Development Planning

Together, this information provides a strong basis for creating an Individual Consultant DevelopmentDevelopment Plan. These plans can be formal, as part of a company development initiative, or they can be informal and more personal. Either way, the continued development that derives from this planning is the nurture part of the equation. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach to a consultant development program. It is a well-informed and carefully constructed approach that helps consultants get the most out of training and development activities, and become the best they can be as consultants.

Try It Yourself

Learn about your own consulting DNA, and find out how you can make yourself into an even better consultant than you already are. The good news is that you no longer have to attend one of our workshops to have access to our Consulting Profile Assessment. You can order the Consulting Profile Assessment Online Module online by contacting us today! Or, if you're ready, take a look at our Consulting Skills Workshops.

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Topics: Consulting Competencies Consultant Development Soft Skills