Performance consulting and performance coaching both address the gap between an individual's (or group's) actual and desired performance. Both processes involve collaboration and partnership. Both performance consulting and performance coaching can address performancerelated issues such as behavior, attitude, motivation, and/or interpersonal skills and competencies. How the two activities differ is that in performance consulting, the consultant is directive, whereas in performance coaching, the coach is facilitative. Consulting generally involves some type of professional judgment, whereas coaching, by nature, is non-judgmental.
Performance consulting involves using a systematic approach for analyzing a performance gap. Tools are used to identify the root cause/causes. A solution/intervention set is generated along with an implementation plan, and evaluation plan designed to monitor the effectiveness of the interventions that are implemented.
In coaching the role of the coach is to listen, and with permission, provide feedback that enables the client to develop the solution set. Performance coaching often involves some type of learning needs assessment, the establishment of a learning agenda, along with follow-up/follow-through support, and perhaps setting up a self-coaching framework for the long run. Coaching to address any agenda may require attention to fundamental personal issues such as values alignment, work style decisions, balance issues, and wellbeing enhancement strategies, as well as a variety of inner growth issues related to one's personality type and position the life cycle. Performance coaching is all about facilitating client self-empowerment in setting and meeting goals relevant to performance related choices and behaviors. In many cases the process involves assessing change readiness, and supporting and facilitating client movement through the stages of change.
Note: Coaching should not be confused with therapy; coaching is not a substitute for therapy, which must be performed by a licensed mental health care provider.