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How to develop a mindset of a consultant

consultant mindset
New answer on Mar 19, 2024
10 Answers
3.0 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 25, 2020

How can I develop a consulting mindset like consultants from McKinsey for example?

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Qdot replied on Mar 19, 2024

Developing the mindset of a consultant is crucial for anyone looking to excel in this dynamic field. Consultants are valued for their expertise, analytical skills, and the ability to provide actionable solutions. If you're keen on honing your consulting mindset, here are practical steps to guide you:

Embrace Continuous Learning

  • Stay updated with industry trends and advancements.
  • Invest in courses and certifications relevant to your niche.
  • Learn from thought leaders and experts in your field.

Cultivate Critical Thinking

  • Practice problem-solving in everyday scenarios.
  • Challenge assumptions and look at problems from multiple perspectives.
  • Engage in discussions that stimulate analytical thinking.

Enhance Communication Skills

  • Master the art of clear and concise communication.
  • Develop active listening skills to better understand client needs.
  • Improve your presentation skills to effectively share your insights.

Build Strong Interpersonal Relationships

  • Network with professionals within and outside your field.
  • Show genuine interest in others' challenges and offer help.
  • Foster trust by being reliable and consistent in your dealings.

Adopt a Solution-Oriented Approach

  • Focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
  • Be adaptable and open to changing strategies if needed.
  • Learn from failures and view them as opportunities for growth.

Develop Emotional Intelligence

  • Work on your self-awareness to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Practice empathy to better connect with clients and colleagues.
  • Manage stress and remain composed under pressure.
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Anonymous replied on Dec 19, 2023

Developing a consultant mindset involves cultivating a set of skills, attitudes, and behaviors that enable an individual to provide valuable insights and solutions to clients.

Qdot

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Daniel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 25, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Hi! honestly, it's a learning by doing :) But here are some traits of the typical MBB consultant, you can try to cultivate them in yourself

  • Structured
  • Rational
  • Forward-thinking
  • Creative
  • Team-player
  • Passionate to get things done
  • Confident in what you do
  • Realistic
  • Motivated to stay on task no matter what
  • Flexible
  • Patient
  • Personable

Best,
Daniel

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Raj
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Mar 30, 2020
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

Its all really about learning by doing as others have pointed out. Spending some time in the environment is incomparable to learning theoretically. Some traits that are common include:

  • Adaptable
  • Team player
  • Perfectionist (and yes probably a bit insecure!)
  • Structured thinking and communication
  • Strong work ethic
  • Focus on the result not the activity
  • Understanding the why - I personally like using the 5 Whys framework
  • 80:20 used rigorously

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on Mar 26, 2020

Hey A,

the best way is learning on the job.

Following aspects really matter:

  • Develop your communication and personal skills - it's people's business and building strong personal relationships is key!
  • Analytical thinking and structured approach
  • 80/20 approach - always (re)prioritize you approach to achieve 80% of the outcome with 20% of the resources
  • Manage yourself and manage others (boss, client, team). What especially important is manage the expectations = underpromise and overdeliver, not vice versa!
  • Become a real team player and a great value add to every team
  • Invest in networking and your relationship with the client - they should want to have You on the project
  • Bring the real value, motivation and energy in everything what you do!
  • Become an expert in your topic

I have developed a special programm "Get ready to the first 100 days" which is focused on these questions - how to succeed in your consulting career. All these topics will be treated there in more details.

Good luck!

André

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 26, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Dear anonymous,

The reason why MBB and consulting companies in general are so valuable on your curriculum is exactly that one: there are no other ways to develop that mindset in such a short-term.
If you want to have a taste of this, the best option is to do an internship. Even tier-2 companies are really effective from this point of view, since the work culture and approach is similar to MBB.

Best,
Luca

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 26, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

the best way to develop a consulting mindset is to work in the sector – not necessarily in MBB. Few months in consulting will teach you more than any theoretical resource on the topic. If you can do an internship even in a 2nd or 3rd tier consulting company, you will already learn a lot.

Preparing for case interviews will also force you to develop the typical consultant mindset as they won’t hire you if they don’t see you have the potential for that.

Typical skills you develop as a consultant are the following:

  • Solve complex problems. You learn how to find appropriate solutions for complex issues, even in areas you are not familiar with, using a defined structured approach.
  • Develop great communication skills. You learn how to communicate properly with everyone in a company from new hires to C-levels.
  • Reach challenging goals with a set time frame. You learn how to respect apparently impossible deadlines and achieve the objectives required.
  • Become a team player. You learn how to have a team-based mentality, as your job as a consultant will be strongly influenced by your team performance.
  • Prioritize activities. You learn how to become 80-20...or alternatively how to sleep very few hours ;). As a consultant, you will always have more things to do than the ones achievable in a certain time frame, hence you will have to constantly decide what to give priority to.

​Best,

Francesco

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Tech updated an answer on Oct 27, 2021
Technology Consulting

I think in the consultancy field focus is the main thing which is a compulsory thing in consulting. To make consultant mindset to focus on moving from problem space to a solution. Lead by example and be creative. Make sure you're deeply aware of their challenges from the start. Actively listen and show them how they can be effective in what they're doing. As a technology consultant, I also follow these steps and now I'm successful in my profession.

(edited)

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Thomas
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 12, 2020
150+ interviews | 6+ years experience | Bain, Kearney & Accenture | Exited startup| London Business School

Coming from a non-consulting background, I found that the biggest change is that you have to plan and structure everything meticulously and really think how to communicate it to the client in the easiest way possible.

Practicing cases is logically a good way to learn. Another good method is to create your own case by thinking of a solution to a business problem and trying to assess the validity by creating a case out of it. By these means, you own the process and tend to develop more of a feel for it. Lastly, I would suggest practicing storytelling as communication is crucial for being a good consultant.

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 26, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, I recommend working on your structure in problem-solving, your proactiveness and your top-down communication.

Best,
Antonello

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Mar 26, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I precisely did a slide recently about the mindset/skillset of a consultant and how this is tested in the interview, both through:

  • FIT
  • Business case

Hope it helps!

Clara

(edited)

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