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What Makes An Effective Learning and Performance Consultant?

Updated: Feb 10, 2022


Many business leaders are turning to learning and performance consultants for advice on how to improve their business. As the name suggests, these consultants specialise in improving learning and performance in business settings. They help companies become more productive by teaching them strategies such as employee engagement, communication skills, and leadership qualities. If you're looking for an effective consultant who can provide your business with a clear plan of action that will lead to success, this blog post is for you!


This blog post is for business owners interested in learning how to improve their company's performance and productivity and want to know what to look for when choosing a consultant to work with.


The emphasis on this type of consultant is improving business outcomes like profit margins or sales numbers by focusing on working practices rather than simply the product being sold (although that may be discussed at times).


Consultants will work closely with your team to identify what areas need improvement - whether it's customer service skills or strategic thinking abilities - before tailoring an individualised program specifically geared towards increasing those aspects of your workforce's effectiveness.



The key is knowing what skills to look for in your consultant so here are a few things to consider.


Relationships/people skills with the ability to empathise.


They need to be able to listen, analyse, synthesize and share information effectively in order for your business or organisation's needs to be met. A consultant should be an excellent communicator and a people person. They will also need the ability to deal with all levels of management from frontline employees all the way up to CEOs, COOs as they work on your project; so people skills can't be underestimated! Also, ask yourself do you like the person? Do you feel you can trust them?


Experience vs Qualification


It is essential that any consultant you hire has a proven track record of success within their field and/or qualifications including MBA, CPDs (continuing professional development) etc. It can also help if they have experience working with businesses like yours, which will give them a better understanding of what you do on a day-to-day basis. When it comes to experience look at hours as well as results. A qualification is one thing, it doesn't mean that they will bring you the results you require. Competence through experience is key!


Analytical Skills


An effective consultant should be able to analyse, synthesize and share information in a clear way – which is essential when you are trying to make well-informed business decisions. The biggest influence will come from bringing a narrative to the numbers too. They will also need the ability to deal with all levels of management from frontline employees all the way up to CEOs, COOs as they work on your project; so people skills can't be underestimated!


Presentation Skills


It's important that any person who works for or with you has excellent communication skills, both verbally and written. This enables them not only to communicate effectively but it allows them to understand what you want from them clearly too. It shouldn't just stop at presenting their findings, though: an effective learning & performance consultant needs to know how best to present these recommendations.


Business Generalist


An effective learning and performance consultant will be a business generalist. They need to understand what's going on in the business, including your product lineup and marketing strategy right through to how you are doing financially. This will enable them to recommend changes that would improve the effectiveness of both existing processes and procedures, as well as future ones. Understanding all different areas of a business helps someone to know how to influence crucial decision making that will affect so many areas of the business.


Diplomacy and Conflict Management Skills


Effective learning and performance consultants also have excellent diplomatic skills when it comes to dealing with clients like yourself; they'll know how best to structure their recommendations so that you can accept them without feeling belittled or embarrassed! "You can poke someone in the eye and it will hurt or you can go slowly and touch the whole eyeball". A good consultant will also recognise the importance of ensuring there is always mutual respect for each other even during difficult discussions about work-related issues such as budget cuts etc.;


Content Creator


It's a given that the learning and performance consultant is an expert in their area, although just because they are knowledgeable doesn't mean they can write well. Learning and performance consultants who want to provide quality writing services need to know how to build content that has an impact. For example, in presentations, they will find the balance between too many slides, too many words and the right amount. Writing proposals, course material, SOPs, presentations and crafting emails are part of a consultants world.


Technical skills are an Essential Component


In today's world being comfortable to use technology and learn quickly how to use software that they maybe haven't used before. You'll need to be able to use a range of software packages and understand how they can best assist you in your work (e.g., Excel) as well as know which ones are worth investing in for future use. One of the key areas within learning and performance will be a Learning Management System (LMS)


Positive Influencing Skills


Finally, it is vital that the learning and performance consultant has a strong understanding of what motivates others. It's about more than being able to read people and understand their needs; you need to be able to communicate your message in such a way as to appeal directly to them.



There you have it! Here are our top areas to focus on when looking for your ideal learning and performance consultant. Overall any consultant worth their salt will be grateful and humble to the fact that you are letting them into your circle of trust and opening up all areas of the business. If you feel uncomfortable then it's worth continuing to search for the right person.

 

The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.


As people operations and performance consultants, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 12 years of expertise in people operations and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!

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