Coaching vs. Consulting: What’s the Difference?
(Welcome to the first article in a series about executive coaching…)
Coaching is not consulting.
Many people, including some coaches, are confused about the difference between coaching and consulting.
This confusion can lead to poor outcomes with coaching clients and cause the client to question the value and effectiveness of an executive coach. Allow me to illustrate the point with an example from my previous career as a financial advisor…
As a financial consultant, my job was to explain complex economic and financial planning to clients for a fee. My expertise in asset allocation, investment policy, security selection, performance reporting and retirement goal setting were based on 29 years of experience of telling clients what to do with their money.
They expected to be told because they lacked the experience and/or the knowledge to do it themselves. They expected me to have the answers and get results. It was on me.
Business enterprises hire executive coaches to improve leadership skills of key staff like managers, executives, and supervisors.
Consultants are hired to tell management how to:
- build capacity.
- increase sales
- improve quality
- expand service offerings
Consultant vs. Coach: What’s the Difference?
A consultant is an expert who offers advice and data to support the client based on experience and knowledge in a certain area or expertise.
An executive coach, on the other hand, explores problems and challenges identified by the client, and with mutual agreement, they begin a thought-provoking conversation about real issues of great importance to the client.
Working in collaboration with one another, coach and client design an action plan that often leads to problem solving, unique solutions and goal attainment. Results are on the client.
Coaches Help Develop New Insights & Solutions
Skilled coaches employ a series of questions that can lead to new learning and innovative ways to approach problems and challenges.
The coach asks a series of questions based on critical listening during the coaching session. The questions create new insight in support of the client’s wishes to proceed from Point A to Point B: from where the client is now to where she wants to go!
During an initial complementary interview, my focus begins with the coaching agreement, asking questions like:
- Is the potential coaching client interested in and committed to coaching?
- Are they ready to be coached?
- What other coaching experiences has the client experienced before?
- What was the outcome of those engagements?
- Finally, what are the client’s expectations for the outcome of the coaching engagement?
Achieve Measurable Results with Executive Coaching
The coaching process is designed to provide measurable, actionable goals that get results in a short period of time.
The satisfaction achieved during a series of professional sessions between a willing client and skilled coach can be highly rewarding! In fact, here are some stats to consider from the International Coaching Federation (ICF):
- 86% of organizations enjoyed an ROI on their Coaching engagements
- 96% of those who worked with an Executive Coach said they would repeat the process again
- 99% of individuals and companies who hire a coach are “satisfied or very satisfied”
And these stats also support the benefit of executive coaching:
- For every $1 invested in Executive Coaching, surveyed companies received an average return of $7.90, according to MetrixGlobal LLC.
- One third of Fortune 500 companies utilize Executive Coaching as standard leadership development for their elite executives and talented up-and-comers, says The Hay Group.
What about you? If you are willing to look at work problems and people in a slightly different way – and to practice these newly developed skills in a safe, controlled environment – then executive coaching might be for you. Why not give it a go?
If you’d like to chat about your leadership and life goals, click here to setup a complimentary consultation: https://dalyexecutivecoaching.com/contact/