All three help the client with where they want to go. They’re all valid and amazing professions and serve a purpose.
The question my firm receives is: What are you and what are you not?
First of all, we offer both coaching and consulting services. We work with different clients in different capacities, but always make sure people understand the differences between them.
Hopefully this brief Q&A will help:
When in your life are they focused?
A therapist takes you into the past to help you to go where you want to go. A coach and consultant are more focused in the now and future you.
A therapist is a medical professional and therefore requires a professional degree. Coaches & consultants are not medical professionals. Coaches & consultants may have degrees or certificates, but these are not a legal requirement.
What are the primary differences between a coach and a consultant?
Consultants are very problem and solution focused. A company comes to them and wants results with a challenge they are faced with. The consultant determines, with various means, the challenge and possible ways to resolve it, and gives them steps to correct the issue. Whether they actually implement the steps they outline is entirely up to the relationship and investment in the consultant.
A coach asks you to suggest the areas you feel are the most important and focus there. Then the coach would ask questions to help you refine the challenge, where you want to go and your vision, and help you determine the best steps to get you there. Then the coach would support you in achieve them and hold you accountable towards them. Trust and a longer-term relationship are more common for coaches and their clientele. Also, in the coaching/client relationships, objectives may change and the coach simply pivots the focus to the new desired outcome. Change is a natural and welcome part of life and the coach understands that.