In a recent conversation with a dear friend it dawned on me that a clear explanation of the difference between coaching and consultancy may be overdue. So here goes….
In a nutshell, a pure coaching conversation will be one in which you (the client) drives the agenda, 100%. The coaches’ job is to help you with your thinking, it’s that simple. This means the coach stays out of judgment, advice and is ever so careful to make even the lightest of suggestion.
A consultant may sometimes use coaching strategies or a coaching style conversation from time to time however the difference is when working with a consultant you are paying for their specific advice. This is quite a different experience from a coach who is helping you tap into your own wisdom and solve your own dilemma.
While I am a certified coach I do sometimes (with client permission) move into a consultancy role dependent upon the client’s goals. When working in schools I use a coaching approach to drive whole-school wellbeing inquiry however I don’t expect all the teachers I work with to become expert coaches. Instead, I teach staff to be able to hold coaching-style conversations, ones that are goal-focused and inquiry-based.
For an example of a pure coaching conversation please click on the link attached.