Coaching vs. Consulting

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What is the difference between COACHING and CONSULTING?

by Marcy Sizemore

Here at Olive Orchard, we have a multidisciplinary team of coaches and consultants that work to meet our client’s needs. We often hear questions like, “What is the difference between coaching and consulting?” “Which one do I need?”

Coaching and consulting are two different services that can help individuals and organizations achieve their goals. Coaching is typically focused on individual development and is inquiry-based, while consulting is more about solving specific problems or achieving specific objectives. Unlike consulting, coaching is a co-equal partnership where the coach supports the client to identify their own strengths and solutions. The individual is the expert on themselves. The coach is the guide through exploration of the specific needs the individual brings to each session.

In coaching, the coach helps the client to identify their goals and develop a plan to achieve them. The coach also provides support and accountability throughout the process.

Coaching can have many benefits for individuals and organizations. According to the Institute of Coaching, the personal benefits of coaching are as wide-ranging as the individuals involved. Numerous clients report that coaching positively impacted their careers as well as their lives by helping them to establish and take action towards achieving goals, become more self-reliant, gain more job and life satisfaction, and more.

In addition to personal benefits, coaching can also have many benefits for organizations. Coaching can empower individuals in the organization and encourage them to take responsibility, increase employee and staff engagement, improve individual performance, help identify and develop high potential employees, help identify both organizational and individual strengths and weaknesses, and more.

Consulting, on the other hand, is a process that helps organizations solve specific problems or achieve specific goals by providing expert advice and guidance. Consulting is typically focused on the organization and its needs. Consulting is more focused on providing expert advice and telling the client what should be done. Each consultant comes with a certain set of expertise. Each client comes with a problem, issue, or need. The consultant works to provide a solution. This professional service provides advice and guidance to individuals or organizations in a specific field. This can include management consulting, financial consulting, technology consulting, and more. Consultants typically work on a project basis and provide expertise and recommendations to help their clients solve problems or achieve specific goals. They generally do not participate in the implementation of plan provided; however, some consultants offer resources for follow through at the end of their engagement.

At Olive Orchard we have both types of professionals: Coaches and Consultants, and it is through a discovery session that we help you discover which service you might need. We are committed to finding “FIT” for each of our clients. We believe in our client-centered approach and remain committed to the highest ethical and professional standards. Our coaches are certified through International Coaching Federation accredited programs and our consultants come to us as leaders in their field.


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