Hiring a Consultant: The Most Important Skill to Look For
In today’s business environment, you can find a consultant to do most anything. However, when hiring a consultant, it’s often hard to sift through all of the consultants and determine who is the best fit for your company. Everyone ends up looking very similar and price often becomes the differentiating factor.
The problem is that it’s hard to find the right consultant that fits within your organization that has the business and technical acumen to deliver the expected value. You resort to choosing the lowest price because it appears to be the least risky. As a result, you end up spending more as you go through a revolving door of consultants or cancel the initiative all together.
With the assumption that the consultant has the knowledge to do the job well, the most important skill of a great consultant is their ability to empathize with your situation. Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference. A consultant with empathy truly understands what you are going through and will make wise decisions on your behalf based on what they would do if they were you. They treat your business like they treat their own. Consultants with empathy care more – they think about your business just as much as you do. They take on your problems and carry the burden. With empathy, a great consultant is able to apply their wisdom to your unique circumstances so the right decisions are made. They help you deal in the gray areas and help you make wise decisions based on all of your constraints.
Empathy is the key ingredient of emotional intelligence. We are all emotional beings. It’s easy to find people with great knowledge. However, when hiring a consultant, what you really need is someone with wisdom – a consultant that has empathy and knows how to apply knowledge the right way. To put it in emotional intelligence lingo – IQ (intelligence quotient) + EQ (emotional quotient) = Success.