The Difference Between Coaching and Consulting (and Mentoring)

I am often asked, “What is the difference between coaching and mentoring, or coaching and consulting?” Indeed, when I first sought a coach, I had the same questions. Below I provide a brief outline of each to help orient you to the coaching relationship. Please feel free to contact me and ask any questions you might have.


Coaching Consulting Therapy Mentoring
Coaches guide their clients to their own solutions. Coaches work with clients who want a subjective partner to help them enhance their lives through action. Consultants advise their clients about how to solve problems. They provide a plan for you. Therapists are experts in medical and behavioral sciences trained totreat diagnosable conditions.
Mentors share knowledge, wisdom and experiences; they are an advantageous friend.


Coaches are focused on people. Coaches use questions and reflection to highlight their client’strengths and areas in need of development;then help theclient uncover their own wisdom and solutions. Consultants are hired to produce results. A doctor is a type of consultant. Therapists are licensed professionals who work with clients that need or want professional help towork towards healing, recovery, and issue resolution.
Generally tells; advises; instructs;
suggests; gives opinions; but an effective mentor also knows when and how to coach.


Coaches are hired to support the client as they achieve a certain outcome. Coaches use personal disclosure as a tool to catalyze and challenge their clients to do what they don’t want to do so they can be who they want to be. Consultants are hired to produce a certain outcome with or for you. Therapists are required to keep their personal feelings & thoughtsremoved. Helps identify developmental opportunities and “open doors.”