Coaching Versus Consulting

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An executive coaching relationship is developmental in nature. A coach partners with the client to help the client reach their goals. Said another way, the coach partners with the client to travel from where they are at to where they want to go. The executive coach focuses on the client’s agenda. A consultant assesses the current situation and provides recommendations.

What are the key difference between coaching and consulting? Neither role is right or wrong, but the role needs to fit the need of the client.

The Characteristics of A Coach Versus The Characteristics of A Consultant

  • The Coach Listens, While The Consultant Speaks
  • The Coach Questions, While The Consultant Answers The Questions
  • The Coach Receives Content, While The Consultant Delivers Content
  • The Coach Provides Space, While The Consultant Fills The Space As The Subject Matter Expert
  • The Coach Has The Questions, While The Consultant Has The Answers
  • The Coach Limits Recommendations, While The Consultant Must Deliver Recommendations
  • The Coach Explores For Answers, While The Consultant Explains The Answers
  • The Coach Won’t Tell You What To Do, While The Consultant Tells You What To Do
  • The Coach Relationship Is Developmental In Nature, While The Consultant Is Prescriptive In Nature

How do you determine whether you need a Coach or a Consultant? Here are a few questions and principles to help discover the answer:

1.) What is the business problem you are trying to solve?

2.) What are the outcomes you want to create?

3.) Does the answer to your challenges reside within you or does it require an outside expert?

4.) Would your business respond well to directives by an outsider?