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  • Writer's pictureKanav Khurana

Note to my past self: Be a better consultant

Dear Kanav,

Subject: Be a better consultant

Ask for help on a problem. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness .

Start with the ‘Why’. Ask the customer, ask your colleagues - ‘Why’? New insights and avenues will open up.

Are you constantly thinking about something - a design problem, a difficult conversation? Write it down. Writing helps you think. Oh, and type it, we all know how ‘great’ your handwriting is.

Be shameless - in asking questions, in pushing the boundaries. You will be surprised by what comes out of it.

Be humble with praise. Don’t take it to heart.

Separate the idea from the person. If someone says something that feels bad, resist the urge for it to make you feel bad. Don’t take it personally.

“Let me think about it” is a valid answer. When someone asks you to take on some assignment at work, take your time to decide. Remember the journaling thing we talked about? Write down how you feel about the project. Does the role excite you? Does thinking about the project give you energy or take it away?

It is ok to change your mind. Did you make up your mind about something, but now feel the context has changed? The information, your knowledge, some biases? It is ok to change your mind. Rethinking is a strength.

The goal in teams is not to appear the smartest, it is to work together to achieve a common goal. Be a team player.

Be empathetic. Understand where the other person is coming from. You don’t have to agree with everything they say. Understanding builds tolerance and the possibility for relationships.

Start reading. This will change your life. The ‘Almanac of Naval Ravikant’ is a good starter.

Not able to proceed with a design? Visualise it, draw it. It’s also a great way to communicate work across cross-functional teams.

Done is better than perfect. Perfect is never done.

Don’t over-plan. Excessive planning dilutes the motivation to act.

Be a life-long learner. Past success is in the past. Learn from it, kill your ego and move on.

Is that it? Nothing about technical knowledge? Not really. That won’t matter.

There was more, but now your/my son demands our presence. Spoiler alert! :)


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