What’s the difference between a business coach, a life skills coach, a mentor, a consultant or a therapist?
A business coach engages in meaningful communication with individuals in businesses, organizations, institutions or governments, with the goal of promoting success at all levels of the organization by affecting the actions of those individuals.
A life skills coach (also referred to as a personal coach) collaborates with their coachee in a highly interactive working partnership for the purpose of assisting the coachee to clarify what they really want from life. Life coaches are seen as strategic partners to enhance life satisfaction.
Together, the life skills coach and coachee work on setting more effective personal goals and new strategic actions, 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 action 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 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 and 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 and advise on business issues.
A counselor or therapist focuses on psychosocial issues and/or psychological disorders with an emphasis on the diagnosis and analysis of the client/patient. The focus is exclusively on the client/patient and there’s a low possibility that the counselor or therapist will request feedback. Counselors or therapists are typically seen as experts and try to heal psychosocial dysfunctionality.