Often when a business leader engages a coach, he or she does so without a clear understanding of the differences coaching vs consulting between coaching and consulting. In many cases, consulting habits and practices may be expected as a result of this “misunderstanding” which may lead to dissatisfaction.
In order to appropriately determine if coaching is the right course for your needs, you should first clearly understand your challenges and expectations – be very clear about what you are looking for.
For example; are your 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 routes.
Consulting is the practice of telling or doing. It focuses on offering, and generally delivering, recommended solutions from your consultant.
On the other hand, coaching focuses on the transference of understanding “how” to work through a challenge 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 you, 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.