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Thomas J. Leonard



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Thursday, December 19, 2002
What's the 'difference' between coaching and consulting?

Dear Today's Coach Reader:

New ebook being compiled.
Every coach is invited to play...

Ah, the big question -- Are you a consultant?  A Coach?  Both?  Neither?  A synthesis?

We've been receiving questions along this line at CoachVille with increasing frequency, so we thought we would invite Today's Coach readers to play and ask you to help explain the differences, similarities -- and evolution -- of these two roles/terms.

If you have been/are a consultant -- or find the question intriguing -- would you mind sharing a couple of your thoughts on this? 

A sample is included below.

What we're looking for is 2-5 paragraphs related to this topic, preferably from real-world coaching

experience, with an example.

We'll be compiling this ebook over the holidays and releasing it in March 2003 at the CoachVille website and to all CoachVille members.  It will be free.

And, we'll be including attribution if you wish (your name, email, website and photo (if you wish)), so this might work out to build up your brand.  After all, would it help if 25,000 CoachVille members knew who you are and the kind of work you're doing as a consultant/coach?  And, who knows how this ebook will get passed along.  My guess is that both companies and other consultants/coaches will hear about and download this book -- and that puts you in a large circle of influence.

Note:  If you wish to create an illustration for the ebook to make or supplement one of your points, feel free!  You can fax a sketch of it to +1.602.532.7168 or email a graphic of it to We'll handle the final design/layout; a rough sketch is fine.  You'll receive full attribution/copyright, of course!

Please email your 2-5 paragraphs to by December 31, 2002.

Here's an example of what we're seeking, story/entry-wise...
(Note: this example doesn't include a real-world client example; we would ask that you build/include your story around a real-world client situation/example of how coaching works for clients with whom you are also consulting.)

The coaching process opens up the business owner to make the most of the consulting that is provided...

"For many years I thoroughly enjoyed my consulting projects, as the client and I created business or marketing or sales plans as well as management techniques. All these are externals which help to support the goals of the business. All are very important, but my clients have told me that the real path to long-term, sustainable success is an inner path which can only be crafted through coaching. It is becoming more apparent that this inner path to success is a necessity.

From the client's viewpoint, the work we do with them in a consultant capacity is 100x easier for the owners to implement if they are also being coached.  This because coaching 'opens them up' to making the changes in their thinking, behavior and focus that will have a long-term, ongoing impact - both personally and in their business.  If pressed, I'd even say that the benfit of consulting tends to be short-term without the inclusion of coaching.  Add coaching into the mix and the consulting work has the chance for greater and longer-term benefit to the client.

The person behind the organization is the real key to success, not the strategies or techniques. Thatís why coaching is so important. Through coaching, whatever problems the owner is experiencing can be quickly surfaced, understood and corrected. Even a simple-to-teach integrity, needs, and standards model opens so many opportunities to eliminate problems. Once these factors are explored, progress is dramatically accelerated and longer lasting.

Coaching is not simply a means to help the business grow, it is the preferred technology to help the people within the business thrive (not just the owner/executives). As we move forward in time, individuals are going to need coaching because of the increasing pressure for employees to contribute at a much higher level -- levels that are just not available to these employees and leaders without the access and awareness that occurs during the coaching process."

Richard Reardon, MBA
Pasadena, California | USA | 

Shorter examples (just for ideas)...

1. "The personal bond that occurs between a consultant who is also a coach, and their client, opens up the client to making more changes that the consultant/coach is recommending."

2. "As a coach who is also a consultant, I find that I have much more permission from my client to ask them to make style changes, grow themselves or take personal responsibility for the situation they are in -- instead of having a 'fix' be the primary focus of our work.  When I was exclusively a consultant, I didn't feel that I had this permission.  Perhaps I did, but it didn't feel that way."

3. "I'm often hired as a consultant, but it seems like 50% of my time is spent coaching the client whether they ask for this specifically, or not."

Cool project, huh?

Please email to by December 31, 2002.


We'll advise when the ebook is ready for release. Contributors will receive advance access to the ebook (60 days early).


Thomas J. Leonard


copyright 2002 by  all rights reserved.