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 in themselves. 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.