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  • Writer's pictureLeverage Safety

The Key Characteristics of Effective Internal Consultants

Updated: Jul 18

When implementing process improvements or facilitating change within a company, selecting the right people to serve as internal consultants is crucial. These individuals play a vital role in driving successful implementations at their facilities and across the organization. If you're considering employees as potential internal consultants, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Willing Participant: Good internal consultants cannot be coerced into participation. While it's not necessary for each internal consultant to their facilities and as a volunteer, they should be willing to participate when invited. It's important to note that skepticism is common and should not automatically disqualify someone from consideration.

  2. Respected Worker: Internal consultants must be taken seriously by both managers and peers. Respect should be based on their expertise, knowledge, and track record rather than mere popularity.

  3. Experienced: Novices typically lack adequate knowledge of the site, the people, and the safety issues to be effective internal consultants. While it's not necessary to exclusively select "old timers," it's important to avoid individuals who haven't been on the job long enough to understand the ins and outs of the organization fully.

  4. Good Safety Role Model: Internal consultants don't have to be accident-free but must be serious about safety. Employees who have experienced injuries often develop a heightened sense of awareness and credibility when discussing safety with their peers.

  5. Open-Minded: Internal consultants should be open to learning and adapting to new ways of doing things. Some individuals may resist change, which can hinder progress if placed in a leadership position.

  6. Collaborative: Internal consultants need to be team players who can work well with others and reach a consensus. Individuals with reputations for stubbornness or difficulty in getting along with colleagues should be excluded from consideration.

  7. Takes Initiative: Good internal consultants should be self-starters who have demonstrated initiative on work projects or taken on extra assignments. Their proactive nature ensures that they can drive change effectively.

  8. Good Communicator: Internal consultants should possess effective communication skills, enabling them to interact with fellow workers and managers. While they don't need to be professional speakers, they should be able to express ideas clearly and concisely.

  9. Good Problem-Solver: Internal consultants will be entrusted with analyzing data and identifying solutions to safety problems. Individuals who have demonstrated problem-solving abilities should be strongly considered if they meet the other criteria.

  10. Personal Organization: Internal consultants will often juggle multiple roles and priorities. Those who have shown the ability to manage tasks and responsibilities in an organized manner tend to make excellent internal consultants.

By selecting individuals who possess these key characteristics, organizations can ensure the success of their internal consulting initiatives. Effective internal consultants can drive change, promote safety, and contribute to the overall improvement of the company's operations and culture.

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