How Coaching Differs to ConsultingTom Lynam2019-12-01T23:28:15+11:00
How does coaching differ to consulting?
Tanner James believes in a combined approach, blending best training, coaching and consulting services to help build capability
What is the difference between coaching and consulting?
One question the Tanner James team are frequently asked about, is what is the difference between coaching and consulting. This page will seek to provide an answer to that question, illustrating the differences between the two, and the benefits of each respective activity.
What is consulting?
Consulting is the process of giving expert advice in a particular area of work to a business or part of a business. It’s usually a temporary partnership where the consultant assists their client in carrying out specific tasks, using their experience to offer advice about the way to proceed. It can also include the actual delivery of work for the client.
The benefit of using consultants is to bring in temporary and often cost-effective increase in capability to solve a particular business challenge. Examples of this could include building a tailored project management framework or help on a particular program.
The main challenges with consulting arise around the potential amount of long term buy-in by the consultants involved (given the temporary nature of the partnership) and the minimal increase in internal capability in order to solve the organisations challenge. When the partnership comes to an end, the consultant will take the expertise with them, leaving the organisation potentially short in the future.
What is coaching?
Coaching is the process of working with the client to guide them towards a defined management objective (for example, the client is struggling to establish their project risk register and the coach walks the client through this process). The coach will guide them on appropriate steps to take, whilst helping them develop and reinforce relevant skills and knowledge so that the client can take these skills forward into their future work practices.
As with the consultant’s work, this partnership is temporary, usually until the completion of the defined objective. It is also common that coaching is combined with formal training, with the coach focussed on taking the learnings from the classroom into the workplace.
The benefit of coaching is that it helps to build internal capability to overcome the particular organisational challenge. As it is the staff who are themselves working towards the completion of the initiative, they are learning the skills and gaining the experience while they work.
How is coaching different from consulting?
A consultant and a coach both focus on the achievement of specific management objectives. A coach achieves this by helping a client solve their own problems, whereas a consultant solves problems for the client. A consultant informs decisions and carries out tasks using their knowledge and expertise, whereas a coach guides a client and consequentially helps them develop the knowledge and skills to do the same.
Coaching and consulting can also work together, providing a blend of coaching to build internal capability for longer term success and improvements, and consulting to lay the foundation for this success.
Tanner James offers both services and would highly recommend that client look to supplement coaching and consulting with some initial training in best practice approaches. To find out more about the Tanner James services in this area, either contacts us our visit our relevant pages.
How is coaching different from training?
The primary focus of a coach is to ensure a client does achieve their objectives and can apply their skills whereas a trainer’s primary objective is to ensure they have the knowledge to achieve their objectives.
Training seeks to cover a set topic and syllabus and has the objective of helping clients sitting a course to either learn, reinforce, or improve upon their knowledge and skills in the set field.
Coaching on the other hand is a partnership where the coach can actively guide and supervise as a client seeks to achieve their own specific management objectives, which they may or may not already have training for. As a result, a coaching relationship is typically longer than that of a training one, as the coach finishes their task when the client completes their objective, and the trainer finishes their task when they have taught a client all relevant knowledge and skills.
Training and coaching supplement the other well; training helps to establish the knowledge and skills and coaching assists and guides the client as they apply the skills in new and various scenarios, ensuring that they manage to achieve their goals effectively and honing their skills along the way.