The Difference Between Executive Coaching
and Business Consulting

Business coaches and business consultants provide two distinctly different benefits for the executives, entrepreneurs, professionals, and leadership teams.

A business consultant working with an  executiveConsultants are normally hired for one of two reasons: either as a means of "outsourcing" specific functions or to access a body of knowledge and expertise not generally available within the company. Consulting also tends to focus on organizational issues of considerable scope.

Business and executive coaching, by comparison, is highly personalized and aims at enhancing the performance of individuals or perhaps small teams. Whereas consulting is largely informational, coaching is heavily inspirational and "skill-formational."

Consultants focus primarily on externals — processes and activities that outsiders can observe and monitor. Coaches, however, have a deeper agenda, commonly probing the client's inner world to examine the client's

  • goals and aspirations
  • ethos and values
  • level of confidence
  • sense of competency
  • inner fulfillment

Personal coaching may occur as part of a larger consultancy in which the coach doubles as a consultant. Thus, the line between coaching and consulting is sometimes a bit blurred. Coaching, however, always involves a commitment between the coach and a specific individual in which they agree to

  • be accountable to each other
  • work jointly work toward specific outcomes that enlarge the client's personal options and capabilities
  • maximize the client's ownership responsibility for achieving those outcomes

To put this another way, companies hire business consultants to bring them solutions. The purpose of coaching is to help people uncover and implement their own solutions. Both coaches and consultants help you build the business you want. Coaches, however, also help you have the life you want.

For additional information on the unique benefits of executive coaching and mentoring, go to