The Difference Between Coaching and Consulting.

Consultant vs Coach/Mentor

When a company or executive needs outside assistance with their business, they can look to two options. The more familiar one is a consultant, the other a coach/mentor. Both have their place, so it is important that you select the best one for your specific circumstances. Let’s look at how I view their respective roles and some of the differences between them.

The Consultant

Consultants are usually hired to tackle and solve a specific issue or problem. They typically focus solely on the business problem. They identify the problems, objectively suggest solutions, and will if requested, implement the solution.

The Coach/Mentor

Coaches on the other hand take a much more subjective approach to problem solving. A coach engages the client in the analysis of the situation and the resulting decision process. It is a learning experience for the client as they have input in defining solutions. Part of the coaching process involves the coach learning the client’s strengths and weaknesses as this can directly affect how a solution is implemented. Once an action plan is agreed upon the coach will mentor the client in the implementation phase to help the client to stay motivated, on track, focused and accountable.

So, in a nutshell, a consultant focuses on problems, while a coach focuses on the client while solving problems.

Let’s look at it in the context of riding a bike:

Consultants are experts in bike riding. They will explain why one bike is superior to another, tell you what what’s wrong with your bike, what to do to correct it and if necessary, ride the bike for you. They focus on The Problem which the bike.

Coach/Mentors offer a different approach to solving the problem. They are also experts in bike riding but will focus on YOU as well as the problem with the bike. Once a solution is agreed upon, the coach provides ongoing mentoring by jogging alongside you, championing you till you are the best bike rider you can possibly be.

Consultants and Coaches each have their place in business life. My purpose in authoring this piece is to enable you to make an informed decision on which option is best for you.

If you want someone to coach you on business decisions while mentoring you to your highest potential, I would love to schedule a free exploratory meeting with you. Call me at 417-849-3401 or email me at