I have worked with a lot of consultants throughout my career and I strongly believe that a consultant’s level of intuition can be the difference between an average and outstanding experience for a client.
Most consultants are technically really good at what they do, otherwise they wouldn’t survive working as a consultant. But those consultants who have the ability to really understand their client, preempt their thoughts, ideas and required outcomes are those consultants who become exceptional at what they do.
When I talk about being intuitive, I don’t mean that you have to be psychic to achieve great results but there is a real art to being able to listen to someone and use this information to predict an outcome. Some of this intuition you can put down to experience. Because when you are technically great at what you do you and you have worked with a number of clients you can start to get a feel for where the conversation is going and what you need to do next. You can use this knowledge to predict an outcome and stay one step ahead of your client and more easily managing their expectations.
What I have found is that a consultant’s ability to be intuitive is not just based on experience, but it is also based on their own individual ability to learn, listen, be proactive, communicate and engage with others. Do they really have a growth mindset and a hunger for self-improvement, or are they content and complacent in believing they know it all?
There are a number of tools available that assess how much you rely on your own intuition as opposed to factual information so that you can have a good understanding of where your awareness is at and identify areas where you can utilise your intuition more. This does come more naturally to some of us than others, but there are things you can do enhance your ability to utilise your intuition. The worst thing you can do (and I have seen some good consultants do this), is assume you know what is best for a client, without taking the time to really listen.
If you want to excel at what you do and become a great consultant, listen to your clients and learn to adapt your style, your behaviours and your communicative style. If you have a growth mindset and take the initiative to listen to your clients, your peers and your mentors then you will find that others will notice and your reputation for being a great consultant will build.
Don’t underestimate the impact of intuition and the value it creates with your clients.