Do you need a Coach or a Consultant?

It seems like every time I turn around these days, I am getting some sort of invite to connect from people on LinkedIn who want to sell me some type of package that is going to “exponentially increase” my coaching business. Only one problem with that. I am not a coach. I am a consultant.

In the business world today, you are likely to find people who refer to themselves as a coach, a consultant, or both at the same time. Many people think that the terms coach and consultant are synonymous. They are not.

Have I spent over a decade talking executives off the ledge? Yes. Does that make me an executive coach? In some minds yes, but I know my process and the answer is actually a resounding no.

Coaching

When you think of a coach what comes to mind? For me, I see my mother on the sidelines of the soccer fields of my childhood, clipboard in hand, calling out plays, making substitutions, and cursing under her breath in Italian when things weren’t going the team’s way.  

Merriam-Webster defines a coach as “one who instructs or trains.” Coaches were people who taught you how to play the game, how to win, and how to become resilient after a loss or failure.

Here at Strategic Tactics Consulting Group (STCG), we view coaches as people who are there to teach you something. To provide a lesson if you will. They teach you the skills you need to think and succeed on your own.

Want to be successful at life, love, relationships, finance, health? The different types and variety of coaches are endless. You can find a coach for almost anything you want to achieve in life. From rocking the SAT’s to finding your soul mate.

Coaching is something akin to being in therapy with a doctor who keeps asking “how do you feel about that?” or “what do you think about that,” or “so what’s your next move?” They help to guide you and direct you through subtle influence and accountability by providing you with the tools to succeed.

Coaches provide a learning experience in order to slow walk you to an epiphany.

Consulting

Consulting on the other hand is completely different.  According to Merriam-Webster, a consultant is “one who gives professional advice or services.”

When you bring in a consultant you are hiring a problem solver. A “heavy-hitter,” if you will. A consultant is going to analyze your challenges or problems and tell you exactly what you need to do and how you need to do it to fix those issues.

Here at STCG – we are first and foremost consultants. We dig, we probe, we analyze and we make recommendations based on the information before us. While we work one-on-one with executives we are not acting in the capacity of an “executive coach.” The reason for this is that we are providing actionable advice on how to get out of whatever predicament our client has landed themselves in, as well as services to execute a solution.

Instead of waiting for our clients to rationale out a resolution on their own, we are there to provide services and to execute a plan of action.  Our clients are hiring expertise and peace of mind and that is what we deliver.

Meeting in the Middle

Is there overlap between a coach and a consultant?

Sometimes. However, the environments and circumstances should be very different.

When I am teaching undergrads in the ways of management and entrepreneurship at the local university or putting on a workshop for small business owners, yes, I’ll admit it, I am wearing a coaching hat. In these situations, there is an element of instruction.

However, when we get called to figure out why a marketing strategy is failing or get asked to put together a high-performing team – those are consulting situations.

So, now that you know the difference between coaching and consulting, you know what to look for and the questions to ask when hiring outside help for your business.

Need help with your business strategy, marketing strategy or teams? We would be happy to help. Contact us today at info@stcgllc.com.

Angela M. Insalaco is the President of Strategic Tactics Consulting Group, LLC. To learn more about how STCG can help your business or follow Angela’s blog “Confessions of a Client-Side Marketer” visit us at www.stcgllc.com.

© 2020, Angela M. Insalaco. All rights reserved.