What's the Difference Between a Business Coach and Other Professionals?

A business coach collaborates with his or her coachee (the individual receiving the coaching) in a highly interactive partnership for the purpose of reaching professional/personal goals and objectives within the context of the business' or organization's goals and objectives.

Business coaches are seen as strategic business partners who facilitate enhanced business results.

Within a well-defined working relationship, the business coach and coachee typically engage in a continuous progression of conversations, observations and practice. The coach acts as a change agent, sounding board and strategic-thinking partner as he or she facilitates a structured and safe learning environment for individual development through such processes as clarifying personal values, setting purposeful goals, and developing and implementing strategic action plans. Accountability in coaching is shared between the coach and the coachee.

A life skills coach (also referred to as a personal coach) collaborates with his or her coachee in a highly interactive working partnership for the purpose of assisting the coachee in clarifying what he/she really wants from life.

Life coaches are seen as strategic partners who facilitate enhanced life satisfaction.

The life skills coach and coachee work together on setting more effective personal goals and new strategic actions, and on staying focused and accountable so that the coachee may lead a more successful and satisfying life. The coach and coachee co-design a direction and the coachee commits to taking the action necessary to succeed. Accountability in coaching is shared between the coach and the coachee.

A mentor is usually an older and/or more experienced person who provides advice, guidance and support to a younger and/or less experienced person for the purpose of enhancing personal, professional, spiritual or life growth. In business settings, those groomed for advancement are often formally or informally mentored by senior executives.

Mentors are seen as experts who show protégés "the ropes."

A consultant provides advice or expert knowledge to a client in a particular field or discipline. It's predominantly one-way communication, with accountability on the consultant for delivering on the outcome. The client is expected to implement the consultant's recommendations.

Business consultants are seen as experts who advise on business issues.

A counselor or therapist focuses on psychosocial issues and/or psychological disorders, with an emphasis on the diagnosis, analysis and treatment of the client/patient. The focus is exclusively on the client/patient and there's a low probability that the counselor or therapist will request feedback.

Counselors or therapists are typically seen as experts who try to heal psychosocial dysfunction.

Find out more about: hiring a business coach.

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