Consultants, Here is How You Can Develop a Growth Mindset
To say that the consulting industry has been completely revolutionized in the last couple of years would be an understatement. Business consulting is no longer as cut and dry as it once was and consultants use different methodologies to get the desired results. One of these trending tactics is developing a growth mindset.
What is a consultant mindset?
A consultant mindset is not nearly as abstract as it sounds. It is not just a state of mind, but the way you approach your work.
A consultant mindset is oriented more towards problem-solving and encourages proactive communication. Having a consultant mindset requires certain skills:
- Effective communication – from relaying an idea to successfully debating a matter verbally or in writing.
- Always staying open to learning new things.
- Perspective – you can’t hone a consultant mindset if you can only see things from one angle/point of view.
- Excellent conflict management (you’re working with people, after all).
- The ability to ask the right questions.
- Not being afraid to constantly challenge the status quo.
- Not forgetting about the small things (the devil’s in the details, as they say).
- Being reliable. You’ll be surprised how much a constant in an ever-changing environment means.
As you can see, the ability of creating and maintaining a consultant mindset is no small feat, and even for those of us who manage to cultivate this particular skill set, there is a fork in the consultant mindset road ahead.
Growth mindset versus Fixed mindset
When it comes to the consultant mindset, there is a divide amongst those following a Growth mindset and those who focus on a Fixed mindset. The differences between the two are the opportunities and possibilities you have. Those who support a Fixed mindset believe that you are born with specific skills, talents and an intellect that cannot be changed or stimulated. The Growth mindset camp, on the other hand, believes that with certain effort and a bit of practice one can further develop “what your mama gave ya” as the kids say these days.
This definition of Growth mindset versus Fixed mindset essentially lands you smack-bang in the middle of the nurture vs nature debate that no-one has been able to solve – ever. BUT a growth mindset paves the way for positivity and opens you up to possibilities, so it’s very clear why the latter would benefit you and the businesses you help the most. So the Growth mindset versus Fixed mindset is not much of an argument worth having in my books.
How to develop a Growth mindset
There is plenty of advice and activities for growth mindset development. We’ll focus on the most popular:
Get hungry for knowledge
Put down the gossip magazines and dive into some quality resources within the industry. This can include helpful blogs books, podcasts, webinars, courses and conferences etc. If you want to be the best, you need to know it all, but focus on what really works.
Realize that you are your own worst enemy
As a species that’s generally prone to blame shifting, we point fingers at anyone and anything, from our parents to political groups and society at large. If you want to cultivate a growth mindset, you need to realize that the real person that’s standing in your way the most, is probably yourself. You are guilty of having a Fixed mindset in many things – whether opinions gathered throughout your life or a belief system that was established in childhood. You cannot be afraid to challenge your own beliefs and thoughts if you want to develop a Growth mindset.
Be careful who you eat with
This is a pretty popular saying amongst business people. It means that you need to be very picky of who you spend your time with if you want to be successful in life. The same goes for a consultant trying to develop a Growth mindset. You want to immerse yourself with the cream of the consulting crop – the thought leaders and innovators of the industry. With role models like that, activities for growth mindset development will almost come naturally.
Think out of the box
You might not be standing with a paintbrush in front of a canvas, but consulting is one of the most creative professions out there. And creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised often. There are plenty of apps that you can use to stimulate your creative thinking.
Be the real deal
Brene Brown made millions out of her studies on vulnerability and humiliation. The reason is that people relate and respond to authenticity. Being your authentic self is also the only place from which you can truly develop and grow.
Set clear goals
There’s a big difference between dreaming and setting goals, and your primary focus should be on the latter. This is probably one of the most important activities for growth mindset development. Not only that, but it serves as inspiration and motivates you to take action. Set a goal with a specific time period to achieve it. Most big goals can range between 5-10 years. That’s why it’s vital to divide your big goals into smaller milestones (also with a set date attached to each). These timeframes are crucial to realizing your goals.
Get back up!
You need to redefine how you perceive and handle failures. Successful people with a Growth mindset know that failures are an inevitable part of the journey. Their approach to failures is more opportunistic. It can signal when change is necessary, when a shift in tactics is needed or simply serve as motivation for them to do better and work harder. Those with a Growth mindset do not stay down after they fall down – they get back up!
It’s an exciting time to be a part of the consulting industry, and we at Consultport pride ourselves as part of the growth mechanism for all our consultants. Whether you’re looking for your next consulting gig or just want to level-up on some skills, please don’t hesitate to discover all we have to offer on our site.