Clarifying Coaching vs. Consulting

By Kristi Burns

coaching vs consulting

Often when a business leader engages a coach, he or she does so without a clear understanding of the differences coaching vs consultingbetween coaching and consulting.  In many cases, consulting habits and practices may be expected as a result of this "misunderstanding" which may lead to client dissatisfaction.

In order to appropriately determine if coaching is the right move for your business needs, you should first clearly understand your challenges and expectations - be very clear about what you are looking for.

For example, are your business needs such that you require someone who will solve your problem for you or tell you how to implement a recommended solution OR do you want someone who will guide you through identifying the solution for yourself?  This is the key difference between the two professions.

Consulting is the practice of telling or doing.  It focuses on offering, and leading or delivering, specifically recommended solutions from your adviser.

Business coaching on the other hand, focuses on the transference of understanding "how" to work through business challenges and discover solutions for yourself through very structured guidance.  Consulting seeks to solve.

Coaching is the deliberate process of leading clients to go beyond the "presenting problem" and identify root causes.  This process is accomplished through continuous probing and challenging questions which allow clients to discover their own needs and develop their own solutions.  Coaching seeks to equip, to solve and develop sustainable practices and thought patterns to ensure long-term self-sufficiency.

In determining the best fit for your business, understanding that a consultant is "the solution," while a Coach is the catalyst to the solution is key to a positive experience and successful outcome.



Kristi Burns


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