Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Coaching VS Consulting - Do You Know the Difference?

by M. Phoenix Djukic

Executive business coaches and business consultants provide two distinctly different benefits for the executives, entrepreneurs, professionals, and leadership teams.

Consultants are normally hired for one of two reasons: either as a means of "outsourcing" specific functions or to access a body of knowledge and expertise not generally available within the company. Consulting also tends to focus on organizational issues of considerable scope.

Business and executive coaching, by comparison, is highly personalized and aims at enhancing the performance of individuals or perhaps small teams. Whereas consulting is largely informational, coaching is heavily motivational and is a path of self-discovery.

Consultants focus primarily on externals — processes and activities that outsiders can observe and monitor. Coaches have a deeper agenda, commonly probing the client's inner world to examine the self-created barriers, dramatically increasing their effectiveness as a leader and inspire them to bold action and breakthrough results.

To put this another way, companies hire business consultants to bring them solutions. Coaches are hired to help people uncover and implement their strengths and barriers to success. Both coaches and consultants help you build the business you want.

Consulting VS Coaching:
The Difference at a Glance

Even when one person is the main client contact, the consultant usually works with more than one person, often in a team, group, board, or department
Works on a one-to-one basis; may coach more than one person in an organization, individually
Structures projects for specific deliverable or result, which the consultant is primarily responsible for
Supports the client to achieve her or his own result or outcome
Usually problem-focused, i.e., identifies and tries to correct problems or weaknesses
Builds on the client's strengths
Regarded as the "expert" who will solve problems (the magic bullet)
Enables the client to solve problems or change things for the better
Consultant brings technical expertise to advise on solutions
Coach brings relationship expertise to support the client's solutions
If behavior change is needed, consultant generally does not get involved in it
A focus on individual and interpersonal dynamics supports behavior change
Gathers data and reports on what needs to be done
Facilitates growth
Time-limited; generally short-term and project-oriented results
Occurs over a period of time that generally involves renewable contracts; focused on long-term results
Provides information
Promotes self-discovery
Goals generally related to programs and funding
Values-based goal setting
Requires limited commitment from client to implement
Maximizes client's commitment to implement solutions

A professional consultant or coach can design a program specific to your organization’s need, using both consultant and coach to optimize performance and outcomes for individual executives and for the organization.  With a plan in place, both the leaders and the company grow.

M. Phoenix Djukic is an Executive Coach and Group Faciliator for Certified Impact LLC, a boutique consulting / coaching / training firm with offices in Chicago IL and Santa Barbara CA. The founder/owner of Life Dynamics, she brings over 20 years of expertise in communication training, executive coaching, leadership development, team dynamics and organizational development to our clients.  Djukic completed her Certification in Executive Coaching at The Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

During her tenure at a Fortune 500 company, Phoenix experienced the benefits of meditation and mindfulness for stress management and improved creativity. Her book, Soul Vision: Living and Inspired Life, with Cornelia Schwarz, explores the strategies and benefits of meditation in business as well as the other areas of your life.

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