What personality traits would make you a good consultant?

Consultancy can be a hard field to get into, there are lots of different traits that make up a good consultant from a bad. Do you have what it takes?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-report which is quite popular in the business sector. After answering a series of questions you are given a personality type made up of 4 different letters. This represents a personality type.

  • Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I),
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N),
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)

Each result gives a general summary of a person’s lifestyle and careers of a personality type.  We’re going to compare the best traits of a Consultant and with each personality type.

If you do not know your MBTI personality score, then feel free to take the test here.

It’s important to mention that yes, extroverts typically have it easier as consultants compared to introverts due to the nature of the job, but that doesn’t mean someone’s personality will stop them from doing a good job. These results are a general comparison to the skills required as a consultant.

Traits of a good consultant:  Flexible, Disciplined, Confident, Persistent, Studious, Sociable and Creative.

INTJ – “The Architect”: INTJ’s have superb professional competence, self-confidence and great observations. INTJs do prefer more “lone wolf” positions such as mechanical or software engineers, lawyers or freelance consultants, only accepting competent leadership that helps in these goals, and rejecting the authority of those who hold them back. They hold high standards and discipline, but don’t like social situations making freelance consultancy the better option.

INTP – “The Logician”: The phrase “good enough” is never good enough to an INTP. Time management is harder for an INTP as they will put the quality of their work over the deadline set on the work, but when the work is completed in the timeline, they produce amazing results. They are rule breakers as they typically loathe rules and guidelines.  INTP’s like INTJ’s dislike the workplace hierarchy, opting instead to provide their services on a freelance basis as consultants.

ENTJ – “The Commander”: Failure is not an option for ENTJ’s. They strategise everything and aren’t scared to coming down hard on others.  Though they have great skills at strategy, they can be stubborn, impatient and intolerant. This strong will, though great at getting things done, can be dangerous when consulting due to their cold nature and need to do things on their schedule. They are potentially more suited to being a lawyer than a consultant.

ENTP – “The Debater”: – These are the ultimate devil’s advocates. They thrive on debates and shredding arguments as they love the mental test on themselves and others. They like to test their wit and knowledge. This isn’t for evil reasons, they like to develop a better sense of other’s reasonings. ENTP’s love personal freedom and their creativity, confidence and persistence would mean they would be best suited as a freelance consultant.

INFJ – “The Advocate”: Corporate career paths don’t seem to be suited to an INFJ. They live to benefit other’s lives in big ways, typically looking at being a doctor, counsellor, life coach and psychology. INFJ’s typically fall flat on data analysis, accounting and routine work. They are great empathetic communicators live for being expressive. Consultancy doesn’t seem to be suited for an INFJ.

INFP –“The Mediator”: The true idealist, always looking for the good in any horrible situation. Only 4% of the population is an INFP. Though introverted, they do enjoy being social with a few people and are very open. They don’t do well in high-stress organisations and are more suited to creative fields. They do have a few personality traits of a consultant yet, they are missing certain aspects that would potentially make them a good one.

ENFJ – “The Protagonist”: Natural leaders from the start, full of passion and charisma, they love people and love to take care of them but hate to fail them. They are unlikely to have the stomach for making the sort of decisions required in corporate governance positions – they will feel haunted, knowing that their decision cost someone their job, or that their product cost someone their life. They wouldn’t be suited to the career choices made as a consultant.

ENFP – “The Campaigner”: It’s a big world out there and ENFP’s want to see and do it all.  ENFP’s like changing the status quo and going anywhere, they love doing different career options from creative jobs to science due to their curiosity. A lot of ENFP’s go on to establish themselves as entrepreneurs and consultants for companies.

ISTJ – “The Logistician”: ISTJ’s love facts and dependability. This can be off-putting in industries such as retail and psychiatry.  They can be flexible with their careers but really strive for dependability. They suit more mathematical jobs such as auditing and accountancy. They wouldn’t typically make a good consultant.

ISFJ – “The Defender”: ISFJ personalities are enthusiastic and prefer to be rewarded by seeing first-hand the positive impact of their efforts, they are imaginative and observant with a hard-working and loyal to organisations they have grown an emotional attachment too. Though missing some elements of a great consultant, they would suit a consultant’s role and make it their own.

ESTJ – The Executive”: ESTJ’s love tradition and order, everything about them represents these qualities. They can go down many different paths but often their career path is straightforward. They have a large amount of loyalty resulting in them staying with a single employer as long as possible. They are great organisers and make great auditors and financial officers. With their ability to be efficient and have the passion for their employer, they would have the skills to become a consultant.

ESFJ – The Consul”: At their hearts, ESFJ personalities are social creatures, they typically hate anything analytic and thrive in social work and health care. They are very loyal to their friends and their employees and are very good at connecting with others. With a strong sense of duty, they will do everything in their power to meet others obligations and needs. If they could get past their distaste for anything analytic then they could make an impressive consultant with their determination backing them.

ISTP – “The Virtuoso”: ISTP’s explore ideas through creating, troubleshooting, trial and error and first-hand experience. They like to make mistakes due to this experimental trait. They love to think out of the box, they are natural innovators. They are quick thinkers in a crisis and emergency response roles seem to be made for this personality type. Due to their nature of trial and error, they may not suit a consultancy role.

ISFP – “The Adventurer”: ISFP’s live in a colourful, sensual world, inspired by connections with people and ideas. They can be mistaken for extroverts, but they don’t have to be alone in order to recharge, they just need to step out of the spotlight. They can be a little reckless in their work life, they need others to be flexible and need opportunities for improvisation. They work well in creative jobs such as photography or setting up an online business. Things that often let them work their own hours, rather than to someone else’s. This personality type would be very unlikely able to work as a consultant.

ESTP – “The Entrepreneur”: ESTP’s are the likeliest personality type to make a lifestyle of risky behaviour. They live in the moment and dive into the action – they are the eye of the storm. They make calculated risks and are very confident and like to be a leader. They dislike tedious aspects of work and live on their own terms. They are typically entrepreneurs and freelancers. If an ESTP has a passion for being a consultant, they are very likely to be a freelance consultant and as long as their calculated risks pay off. They could have the potential to be brilliant at it.

ESFP – “The Entertainer”:  ESFP’s genuinely enjoy spending time with others and getting to know them, and have a knack for making people happy, even in the most frustrating situations. They make great nurses and paramedics. A job that removes human contact and focuses on impartial data-driven choices are torturous to ESFP’s. It would be very doubtful for this personality type to be a good consultant.

These personality types are a general view of the personality types themselves and aren’t always the case for an individual. You could be a strong ESTP but still not make it and a deep ISTP but thrive in this field.




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