Aves or avian dinosaurs are commonly known as birds. This is the most successful species we know. Birds have unique abilities and can adapt to different environments easily. They are the only species who can dominate land, water, and air at the same time. There is so much we can learn from them in general, however, I have always drawn parallel to their abilities to a consultant in a professional consulting environment.

Consulting is a hard task and is not everyone’s cup of tea. Those who thrive in the consulting environment tend to have a lot of qualities that are found across the Aves species.

Since I work for a consulting organisation (Barhead) which is named after the Bar-headed goose, I have tried to explain the traits of a bird and draw a parallel to the quality or skill of a true consultant.

Peacock – Peacocks are known for their beauty and to be able to put on a great show. Peacocks can express themselves with utmost confidence.

A good consultant possesses great confidence and can captivate its audience with its presence in the room. A consultant will invest time and effort in his/her health, grooming, and attire, to make a good and lasting impression.

Duck – Ducks appear to be very cool, calm, and collected on the surface even if there is constant and frantic peddling required under the water.

A true consultant is the same. No matter how stressful the engagement is, he/she is cool, calm, and collected. In the background the consultant might be asking for all sorts of help from his/her team, however, the client always sees the consultant as one who is not perturbed by the crisis at hand – like a true leader.

Eagle – No bird can match the focus and clarity in vision that Eagles have. Eagles can spot their prey 3.2 kms away which demonstrates just how clear their vision is.

A consultant will have the same level of focus on the task at hand and still not lose the sight of the long-term vision. A consultant will be able to help the client deliver its long-term vision by focusing on each of the tasks required to get there.

Penguin – Penguins are known to stick together through thick and thin, come what may. They stay together, help each other, and provide valuable lessons in terms of teamwork.

A lot of times consultants work in isolation, however, there are times when they are required to work in teams to deliver successful business outcomes. A good consultant values the benefit of working in teams with a common objective and helping each other to achieve that.

Parrot – Parrots are one of the most intelligent birds within the Aves species. They can actively listen, absorb information, process it, and play it back.

Consultants are individuals who can listen to the client’s problems, absorb all the information presented, process it, and play it back to the client confirming the problem statement and suggest solution options.

Dove – Doves are the most sensitive, warm, helpful, supportive birds helping in the creation of a safe and inviting environment around them.

A good consultant is culturally sensitive, helpful, and supportive to his/her colleagues and client team, helping to create a safe environment around them which fosters creativity and inspiration.

Owl – Owls are the most systematic, efficient and organised birds. They are great thinkers and problem solvers.

A true consultant needs to have the traits of an owl when it comes to solving problems, bringing thought leadership, and bringing a systematic, efficient, and organised process to solve client problems.

Bar-headed Goose – Bar-headed Geese are known for their tenacity, perseverance, and high performance. It is the highest-flying bird known to man, which flies as high as the Himalayas.

Good consultants are like Bar-headed Geese who have the tenacity to face any challenge, perseverance to find solutions, and perform in order to deliver successful, effective, and efficient business outcomes.

Ketan Chowhan
Practice Lead, Customer Engagement