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What’s the difference? Coach vs Mentor, Consultant vs. Counselor

This is the “Technical” difference between a coach vs mentor and consultant and counselor… 


Coaching –

According to the International Coach Federation coaching is defined as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” The coach is the subject matter expert at coaching, not necessarily the subject matter expert of the client’s coaching topic.


Related: Life Coach vs Performance Coach – What’s The Difference?


Counseling –

According to the CoActive Coaching, the boundary between coaching and counseling is not defined by a set of absolute rules or terms. In general, counselors are trained to diagnose and help client with emotional problems, the past or dysfunction while coaches are not. The coach’s domain is future oriented – what does the client want? And then coaching the client to get there.


Mentoring –

A mentor is a wise and trusted guide and advisor. The mentor is the teacher that shares their experience while bringing the “mentee” up the ranks.  A coach is not necessarily the subject matter expert in order to help develop the client.


Consulting –

A consultant is an expert who is called on for professional or technical advice or opinions. They are relied on to understand the problem and present solutions. Consulting is unlike coaching because with pure coaching, the answers come from the client.


Here is how I like to explain it… Learning to ride a bike:

A therapist/counselor will help you to get over your past pains and one day, you will be able to sit on the bike again.


A consultant will put you on the bike in a wind tunnel with 100 mph wind blowing at you and give you a 100 page report on the most aerodynamic and efficient way to ride the bike.


A mentor will hop on the bike and have you watch how they ride it then hop off and say “ok do what I just did” and teach you how to do what they do!


A coach will have you get on the bike and head out to the track. They will bring a stop watch and ask you to go as fast as you possibly can. Once back from the track they will sit down with you and figure out what is the ideal results you want to achieve while riding your bike in a race. They will then figure out what the difference is between your goal and reality. From there you both will work on a multi part plan that will focus on everything needed to help you close the gap and achieve the results you want. They will help measure and track your results and look for ways to fine tune your training program along the way.


As a coach, knowing the difference will impact the way you support and bring on clients. By being able to identify what they truly need at the time they come to you.


Click This Link  or the image below and download this useful Infographic.










To Your Success,