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Coaching vs. Consulting


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  performance related 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

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