I am often asked to describe what executive coaching is vs other services by those who have had experience of having a mentor or using consultants. This piece differentiates these different topics, with a more in-depth explanation of coaching and the coaching process to follow in another article.
Executive coaching is a professional service that helps leaders and executives achieve their personal and professional goals, improve their performance, and overcome their challenges. Coaches partner with their clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their potential and grow as leaders.
Executive coaching is different from other services such as mentoring, therapy, advisory, or consulting, in terms of the focus, approach, and outcome of the service. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may benefit from one or more of these services, or a combination of them.
Here are some of that ways to compare and contrast executive coaching vs other services:
Mentoring vs Coaching
Mentoring is a relationship-based service that involves a mentor sharing their wisdom, experience, and guidance with a mentee. Mentoring is often informal, long-term, and broad in scope, and helps mentees develop their career, network, and confidence. It’s more about sharing advice and insights, while executive coaching is more about asking questions and providing feedback. Mentoring is more about supporting the mentee’s progression, while executive coaching is more about challenging the client’s potential.
Therapy vs Coaching
Therapy is a mental health service that aims to treat mental illness, heal emotional wounds, and resolve psychological issues. It often focuses on the past and the present, and helps clients understand and cope with their emotions, behaviours, and relationships. Therapy is more suitable for clients who have mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, or addiction, and who need to heal and recover from their issues. (NB: I am not a therapist so please seek professional guidance if appropriate.)
Advisory vs Coaching
Advisory is a knowledge-based service that involves an advisor providing their expertise, opinion, and recommendations to a client. Advisory is often structured, data-driven, and solution-oriented, and helps clients solve their problems, implement their plans, and optimise their outcomes. This is more about telling the client what to do, while coaching is helping the client figure out what to do. Advisory is more about providing the client with information and resources, while executive coaching is more about developing the client’s abilities and confidence.
Consulting vs Coaching
Consulting is a project-based service that involves a consultant delivering a specific product, service, or result to a client. Consulting is often time-bound, and deliverable-focused, and helps clients complete their work, meet their deadlines, and achieve their results. It’s more about doing the work for the client, while executive coaching is more about helping the client do their own work. Consulting is more about delivering a product or service, while executive coaching is more about facilitating a process or experience
In summary, when compare executive coaching vs other services, executive coaching is a powerful service that can help you reach your full potential as a leader. Coaching can be an important enabler for corporate equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. For example when activating the EDI employee lifecycle, or networking groups, or the strategic approach to EDI.
For more information
For a more in-depth look at these topics check out the longer version of this post, soon to be published. Register at the link above to be notified when it is available.
There are a number of coaching accreditation bodies where you can learn more, these include: