I have seen many times that people easily get confused when it comes to the differentiating between a coach, consultant and mentor. I was having a conversation with someone who has been all these for me at one point or another, but I could not clearly distinguish when that was.
So, I wanted to address this question and get some clarity. A lot of my guests, over 45 on the show so far, are either consultants, coaches or mentors in some respect. I asked this question to many of them and figured out some similarities and difference that will help you differentiate between the three.
And the bigger question is why would we need to?
That is because each of these have a different impact in your life and having that clarity will help you better understand the type of impact and results you want to create and as a result the type of help you want to invite in your life. We will look at each one of them separately and look at an example for each to help us understand their roles better.
Coaching is characterized as working together with people in a sometimes provocative and inventive process that moves them to tap into their own expert potential. A good coach is a master at seeing the blind spots of their clients while he or she may not necessarily be an expert on the topic.
A coach knows how to take a business vision through a process of revelation through an internal quest that leads to their client achieving external accomplishments. A coach brings an outside-in and more importantly a point of view that is not clouded by the overzealous passion of their client. The advantages of this type of engagement can be measured through how well the client executes on their plans. The result should be, the clients becomes more proficient and their life accelerates.
A coach offers an alternate kind of relationship by and large. There's a measurable measure of asking and hardly any telling. Let's take an example of learning how to ride a bicycle. A coach will help you accomplish your objective of riding a bicycle by asking provocative inquiries and shining a spot light on your strengths. They work with you to take advantage of what you certainly know and enable you to get through your restricting beliefs. A mentor will keep running close by you holding the bicycle enduring while you're learning. A coach may however keep telling you to, "Let go of the bicycle" when they know you're prepared to ride solo.
A mentor can be considered as a talented and trusted person who can assist you as both guide as well as advisor. The mentor is the educator that offers their experience while bringing the "mentee" up to task. The mentor, who is the more experienced individual looks to improve the less experienced individual, the mentee's development.
I think mentorship is generally a personal relationship and in most cases without the exchange of money where the mutual benefit comes from the transfer of knowledge and the opportunity to give between two individuals.
So taking the same example, A mentor has been riding a bicycle for a long while and is available to learn the process through questioning and observation. They need to see you be fruitful and will invest their energy in you.
A consultant is a specialist who is approached for expert or specialized counsel or opinions. They are depended on to comprehend the issue and present solutions.
A consultant is an individual or organization who you contract to support you or your business. They have assets, learning, or experience that can supplement you in your endeavors. They typically do not work to build up your abilities or skills. Instead of this, they utilize their abilities to help you achieve your desired goals or objectives. With their help, you can get the work done without figuring out how to do it yourself.
A consultant is a specialist in bicycle riding. They've effectively adopted the bicycle riding process and holds the most profitable approach to do it. They will normally analyze what you've been doing so far and help you with the most effective method to get it done, in a step by step manner. They get paid to give you "how to ride a bicycle" answers.
These are the main difference between the 3 that I have learned from the guests on my show. Now of course these are opinions that may be true or not but they provide a great reference point to further this discussion.