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Hiring a Coach or Consultant – Key questions to determine who you might need! | discoveryourpowerteam.com

Hiring a Coach or Consultant – Key questions to determine who you might need!

When working with my clients, I am often asked to explain the difference between a coach and consultant.  Many use the terms interchangeably.  Let’s look at a few definitions and key questions you should ask yourself when looking to hire someone who can help you reach your goals.


What is a Coach

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines a coach as “an individual who partners with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. The premise taught by some coaching schools such as CoachU is that the client has the answers within him and the coach helps the client find those answers.  Coaches normally hold clients accountable to implement the agreed upon actions that come out of the coaching sessions. 

Over the past several years, many individuals have started coaching practices.  Since there is currently no governing body that distributes the title of “Coach”, many define their business and service using their own definition of coaching.  Some coaches who are experts in a certain area, for example online marketing, are coaching clients on how to learn and implement the techniques that have worked for them. 

The bottom line is that coaches help you determine what needs to be done and how to do it; however their only potential involvement in implementation is to provide you feedback.

Are things becoming clear?  If so, don’t worry; I am about to muddy the waters even further…let’s look at Consulting!


What is a Consultant

According to Small Business Encyclopedia, a consultant is an individual who possesses special knowledge or skills and provides that expertise to a client for a fee. Consultants help all sorts of businesses find and implement solutions to a wide variety of problems, including those related to business start up, marketing, manufacturing, strategy, organization structure, environmental compliance, health and safety, technology, and communications. An advisory consultant analyzes the problem and turns recommendations over to the client, but is not involved in implementation of the solution. In contrast, an operational consultant remains on hand to assist the client in proper implementation, or in some cases handles the implementation without the client’s assistance.


Clear as mud?  So who do you need to help you grow your business?


Key Questions to Ask Yourself

My recommendation is that you focus less on the title of the individual and concentrate instead on what you want to accomplish, and what support you require.  Here are three critical questions you should ask yourself when looking to hire a coach or consultant:

1. What do you want to accomplish while working with this individual (e.g.: grow my business by 30% in the next 12 months, help stepping into my new leadership role)?

2. What help do you require to accomplish your goal(s) (e.g.: someone to brainstorm with and help you create your business growth plan and related budget, help you determine what staff your require and how to fill the vacancies, hold you accountable, keep you focussed on the task at hand)?

3.  Do you want the individual to take on some of the work/tasks or are you simply looking for recommendations or a sounding board?


With the answers in hand you can seek out the individual with the right skill set, knowledge, experience and personality to work with you to accomplish your goal(s).  Be sure to mention to prospective coaches/consultants what you are looking to accomplish, what assistance you are specifically looking for and how you see working with the individual.  This will provide them the opportunity to identify if their services and practices match your requirements.


I offer coaching, consulting and training services to entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.  My level of involvement varies per client.  For more information on my offerings, click this link or click on the Programs and Services tab above.


To your empowerment and success,


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