What Are the Differences Between Counseling, Mentoring, Coaching, and Consulting?
You may be wondering, what’s the difference between a mentor, counselor, coach and consulting. I hope to help you understand below.
Being a mentor is much more than just being paid for advice. Mentoring takes time, patience and experience. Mentoring requires seeing the potential in the mentee, even if they don’t see it. A mentor is someone who can guide you through experience.
What is mentoring and what does a mentor do?
Advising and Problem Solving.
- Help Shape Individual Values and Beliefs positively.
- Mentor has some experience in the situation.
- Mentor usually more experienced and qualified than the mentee. (passing on knowledge and experience)
- Mentoring involves sharing personal experiences.
- Personal results to show the wisdom being shared.
- Formal and informal meetings.
- Sets Goals and Action Steps.
- Mentee chooses topics.
- The focus is on the present and future.
- Mentor draws out ideas, actions and plans to navigate barriers in mentee’s environment.
- Brainstorming and masterminding used to solve problems.
- Mentee chooses action steps, tracks, tests and measures results.
- Mentors are like teachers with a lot of answers for the mentee to draw on.
- Conversation is NOT confidential and can be opened to share.
- Mentors work within an area of competence and refer to other professional parties when appropriate.
What is coaching and what does a coach do?
- The fundamental activity is “evoking.”
- Coaching has a narrow focus.
- Coach presumes client has own answers and uses an open-ended question to bring solutions to light rather than offering advice.
- A coach helps client draw from their own experiences and wisdom rather than sharing experiences.
- Set and achieve goals to improve behavioral performance.
- Structured meetings scheduled on a regular basis.
- Coach does not have to be an expert in the industry.
- Coaching does not need to have direct experience of professional role unless skill focused.
- Coaching focuses on the present and future.
- Coach does not need personal results in the area of coaching.
- Coaching is giving more specific steps to take toward what you want or your goal.
- Structured engagements. The contract between coach and client is formal and well defined; objective identified, meet regularly for a period of time.
- Coach uses coaching frameworks and distinctions to support the conversation and client progress.
- Conversation can be private and shared.
What is counseling and what does a counselor do?
Focus includes: resolving persistent and unhealthy emotional patterns and external behaviors, emphasis on healing.
- The highly skilled intervention focused on helping individuals address long-standing underlying psychological and psychosocial problems.
- Can address performance issues, personal and between them and others.
- Counseling supports people in turmoil or personal turmoil.
- Counselors are trained to diagnose emotional problems in the past or dysfunction.
- Conversation is focused on past to a significant degree more than mentoring and coaching.
- A counselor does NOT share own history or personal experiences.
- The contract is formal and well defined.
- Duration can be a single session or years.
- Conversations are private and protected by law.
What is a consulting and what does a consultant do?
- A consultant is an expert who’s 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 direction comes from the client.