There’s a lot of grey area and overlap between consulting and coaching. Many self-employed professionals go to market as both. For example:
- Mary Smith: Executive Coach & Consultant
- John Doe: Organization Effectiveness Consultant and Leadership Coach
Usually there’s nothing wrong with this. Nearly all consultants I know consider themselves coaches to some extent because they often have to get a client to do something, to say something a certain way, or to see something they may not want to acknowledge. Sometimes the consultant has to “hold up a mirror” to a senior leader and point out a disruptive behavior that’s hampering the project’s success.
But consultants are not executive coaches. There is a fundamental difference in how each approaches their work. Being conscious of which approach is required is critical to a successful engagement.