When I did some research on the keywords “coaching” and “consulting” for this Introduction To Mastermind Coaching And Consulting some time ago, I stumbled upon some interesting definitions about what Coaching and Consulting was meant to be:
” Coaching, with a professional coach, is the practice of supporting an individual, referred to as a coachee or client, through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional results.”
” Consulting is providing advice in a particular area of expertise.”
According to the dictionary the verb “to coach” means “to give instruction or advice to in the capacity of a coach” or “to act as a coach” while the verb “to consult” means “to give professional or expert advice“.
And it’s getting even more confusing when they’re used in connection with other words: management coach, success coach, soccer coach, personal coach, life coach, management consulting, human resource consulting, franchise consulting, trial consulting.
What is Coaching?
Coaching is a support service that assists the client in defining and developing abilities and own ideas, in defining and setting realistic goals and helping them achieve these goals. It is an action oriented process where the client has the key role. It’s the client’s journey as he develops his own abilities and ideas to get from where he is to where he wants to go. Coaching does NOT teach the client how to do something but helps the client explore and find his own path to success. In simple words, the client has to take action, the client “does the work”.
What is Consulting?
Consulting is an information-based support service that actually TEACHES the client how to DO something. The consultant is an expert in a certain area or in a given field and teaches the client in this specific subject. There is no motivation or empowering involved, nothing about goal setting or exploring own ideas. The Consultant simply teaches according to his own expertise.
You may have noticed that people often speak about Coaching when they actually mean Consulting.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
What do you think:
What is the difference between “management coaching” and “management consulting”?
Management Coaching is a service where a professional coach assists a company’s management motivating and empowering them on their journey to develop abilities to achieve better results in communication, to take care of their health, to set realistic expectations and goals in business.
Management Consulting is a service where a consultant teaches the company’s management what exactly they have to do, what the exact steps are to achieve better results in communication, to take care of their health, to set realistic expectations and goals.
Let’s see another example:
What do you think:
What does a sports coach really do?
You may say now he teaches those guys and gals how to play soccer.
But does a coach teach? As we learned: NO, he does NOT teach.
In fact, his part would be to assist them in developing their abilities in learning about and in developing their own competitive style of playing soccer. Teaching would be the consultant’s part – but have you ever heard of a sports consultant? Rarely, very rarely. You may have heard about “sports business consultant” or “sports psychology consultant” – but when it comes to something related to the play or players, whether it is teaching or motivating, everybody talks about “Coaching”.
Did I confuse you even more? Don’t worry. It’s getting clearer as we move forward. 🙂