A Consultant, a Mentor and a Coach walk into a bar…

We often get asked by our clients and prospects the differences between a consultant, a coach, and mentor? And which one is relevant to their current need/s, so we have written this blog post to help you.

The Consultant

A Consultant is a professional who provides independent expert advice on strategy, structure, management and operations.

As consultants are independent advisors they can provide an objective viewpoint towards a company’s issues and offer solutions which will help business owners succeed.

Hiring consultants in most cases can be cheaper than retaining expertise in-house; bringing them into projects when needed.  They are also less susceptible to internal politics.

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair

The Mentor

Mentoring has grown in popularity over the years and is more centred around career growth.  Mentoring is a partnership between two people (mentor and mentee) usually working within the same or similar field and sharing similar experiences.  E.g. A Marketing Director (mentor) may mentor a Marketing Manager whose goal is to become a Marketing Director.  The mentor will share their experiences as well as failures in a bid to support the mentee in their goal to become a Marketing Director.

“My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’” — Jim Rohn

The Coach

Unlike a Mentor or Consultant, a Coach does not need to have experience or expertise in the subject matter being explored by the Coachee (Client).

This is because Coaching is a solution-focused, results-orientated process.  A Coach acts as the facilitator in enhancing a Client’s life experiences, work performance or personal growth.

Coaching tends to be associated with goal setting; turning dreams into realities and clients tend to want/need coaching when there is a great distance between their dreams and their reality.  They want to be happier.

An important part of coaching is making a client more self-aware.

A Coach can show you the path you’re on now and point out where changes can be made and support their clients in that change.

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance.  It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them” – Tim Gallwey