Explaining What to Do is Consulting – Asking What Do You Think You Should Do is Coaching

Not all consultants are really business coaches and not all business coaches should be labeled consultants. The other day an associate of mine was good enough to explain to me that there is a big difference between a consultant and a coach. Which is something I’ve always said, as it seems these days everyone who is a laid off executive is now suddenly a consultant and coaches are the new buzz word so no one thinks you are out of work!

She corrected me and stated that consultants tell you how to do things and coaches ask you questions that help you come to the right decision of what to do and why? Kind of like Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else get your way. Of course, a really good consultant of ten years will tell you that the clientele often complains, because the consultant asks lots of questions reviews everything, looks in every nick and cranny and then tells them the obvious.

Indeed, clients often pay consultants a lot of money then are a little miffed afterwards and say; Why did we need him? Ah, the 64 million dollar question, yes, why did you need him? Why didn’t you just fix the problem yourself. See, I like to think a coach helps the team solve the problems in advance, allow them to answer their own questions, and attain the proper level of efficiency and win, without even telling them exactly what to do or how to do it. See that point, I hope you will think on it.