Do you know the difference between Coaching, Consulting, Mentoring and Counselling?

Coaching is often confused with other types of support professions such as consulting, mentoring and counselling.

Previously, we looked at what is coaching.  Here we’ve outlined some of the key differences in the other professions:


A consultant is a person who provides professional expert advice. They can work in businesses, other organisations and individual clients. Consultants diagnose problems and create solutions and strategies to achieve their clients’ goals.

The main difference is that coaches aren’t in the business of simply presenting the client with solutions. Coaches believe that clients are in the best position to know what solution will work best for themselves.  Coaches create space to help their clients discover it.

Some experienced consultants provide coaching services, and vice-versa.


A mentor is a wise and trusted advisor and guide. The mentor has expertise and experience and cares about you and your long-term development.

A coach trusts that the client knows what’s best for themselves in their own life.  Also, a coach may not have the expertise in the specific area or field in which the client is focussed on.  However, the coach can help the client achieve their goal through support and accountability.


Counselling is involved in helping individuals get well. Counsellors develop an understanding of the client and focus on healing emotional pain from the experiences they have had in their past. It is the counsellors’ task to diagnose their problem and help develop their wellness both psychologically and emotionally.

Whereas Coaching is focused on where they are now and is future-directed. Although useful for some clients, coaching doesn’t specifically look at their past. Coaches help clients through action plans and strategies to help them get to where they want to be.

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