As a consultant, your most powerful contribution is the questions you ask, leading to discovery, surfacing information, exposing gaps and inconsistencies.
Second is the observations you make, stating facts to reflect back what you see.
Only third is the answers you offer, as suggestions or recommendations. These should come from a position of humility and uncertainty.
Many clients just want to be told – and big consultancies make a good living doing it – but you don’t know their business as well as they do. Your experiences elsewhere and theoretical knowledge only go so far. An ethical consultant knows this and puts the people’s interests first. The best answers lie within.