One of the most common questions I get asked is this: What is the difference between coaching, consulting, and counseling? Here is how I define and distinguish each one.
Counseling (aka therapy) focuses on issues that the patient/client may be struggling with. Past issues are heavily looked into such as family of origin, childhood, etc. The counseling relationship is typically ongoing, sometimes lasting for years.
Coaching focuses on the present and the future. A coach will meet you where you are now and ask you where you want to go. Then they help you develop a strategic plan of action and help you set goal to go and get it done! Consulting can often occur here if necessary. All coaches are consultants; few consultants are coaches. Coaches are experts on people and success- not just problem solving. Many people are proud to work with coaches. It is more common to ask “Who is your coach?” vs “Do you have a coach?”
Consulting focuses on a particular problem area and expert advice is provided to get results and solutions you seek. Lawyers and Doctors can be consultants. Consultant will tell you what to do and what not to do. Coaches will do this when asked. Consultants do this automatically.
“A productive coaching relationship begins with two people with fires in their bellies: one who wants desperately to move forward and another who yearns to help that person make the journey.” – James A. Belasco
So why hire a coach?
In case you need even more convincing of the value that coaching will provide you I will give you some great examples and reasons why investing in yourself is greater than the price you pay for coaching.
1. We love getting results FAST! Why wait a decade or two for life to teach you the lessons that you could learn in three sessions with a coach? Crush the learning curve by hiring an objective expert to help you get what you want most in a healthier, more productive, and sustainable way.
2. Why go it alone through self-help? There is an abundance of evidence that shows that you will reach greater levels of success at an expedited speed working with someone else to help hold you accountable, be your sounding board and an extra set of eyes to see what you may not.