Every great athlete, high-profile business leaders and celebrities use coaches to improve everything from their health and fitness to their communication skills. They often use coaches to help them change habits, instill new techniques, and learn new options.
Whether you choose a coach or consultant the intent is the same. Finding solutions and improving results. The coach is a guide helping your discover possibilities. The consultant is expected to provide the right answers to solve the problem. Sometimes it can be difficult to decide which is the better direction to choose. Let’s explore some considerations as you decide whether a coach or consultant is best for your business.
In 2021, Indeed.com published article; Coaching vs. Consulting: Overview, Differences and Similarities where they identified what makes each discipline unique.
“Coaching requires developing the client’s abilities to solve a problem themselves using a wide range of tools, such as goal setting and accountability. Consulting involves helping the client solve their problems.”
Concisely, consultancy focuses on providing specific solutions for specific issues or problems in short or determined timeframes.
- Consultants tend to be subject matter experts
- Consultants tend to assess specific problems and then provide specific solutions
- Consultants work at higher level with an organization
- Consultants are project or objective focused
Coaches on the other hand, work one-on-one with clients and tend to be more long-term focused.
“The main difference between coaching and consulting is that coaching pulls out answers from the client while consulting tells the client what to do” (Forbes.com, 2018)
- Coaches tend to be more generalist but can have specific areas of expertise
- Coaches tend to build relationships with clients
- Coaches help individuals become aware of environments so they can find solutions
- Coaches help develop specific skills, focus on accountability, and get results through goal setting
Coaching requires a more personal approach and commitment. While consultants target specific departmental talent gap, coaches work to build the talent up to meet the challenges the business face.
Coaches are focused on building abilities and skills. Consultants are focused on solving the problem.
Projects that are best for a consultancy approach have a distinct start and finish or focus duration period. Coaching is an iterative process which is fluid and can evolve and expand as the client’s needs change.
“Hire a consultant when you need an expert who can teach you a process or method. Hire a coach when you want to discover yourself.” (Forbes.com,2018) – Leanne Wong, Leanne Wong https://www.leannewong.com/
Both coaches and consultants have arsenal of tools resources and techniques to bring about desires changes and to meet objectives. Coaches and consultants are highly skilled educators and trainers and can impart knowledge in a variety of ways. Coaches and consultants both use systematic questioning to identify opportunities and are both committed to solving a client’s issues. You can employee the skills of coach and the expertise of a consultant at the same time. Just be clear on the outcomes you want to achieve.
Here are some other considerations to comparison to help you decide whether a coach or a consultant is right for your situation.
Helps you answers questions Tells you what to do
Focused on clients Focuses on the problem
Gives guidance Gives advice
Facilitates discovery Provides How-To-Manuals
Teaches confidence Teaches process or method
Builds capacity Solves a specific problem
Helps you find clarity and discover answers Focus on technical advice and information
Ask questions Solution based inquires
Helps you explore the possibilities Provides the possibilities
Works as your equal Works as the expert
Presents guidance Presents authority
To learn more about business coaching and to connect with a coach near you, visit actioncoach.com.