Are you working with a consultant who tells you what to do? Do you wish they would ask you what you want to do? The purpose of consulting is to exchange expertise. You pay the consultant to use their expertise to tell you what to do based upon their experience in the subject matter (general business, human resources, marketing, accounting, etc.) or industry. The focus is advising on a specific topic.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Key words in this definition are partnering, thought-provoking, and maximize potential.
When you need help with your business, there are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you want a coach or a consultant, or maybe someone who does both.
Do you have goals? Working with a coach can help you clarify goals. Hiring a consultant will give you strategies for achieving your goals and measuring the outcomes.
Do you have a plan? Developing a strategic plan is the work of a consultant, while determining your mission, vision, and core values is typically guided by a coach.
Do you need feedback or direction? Coaches will ask probing questions and sometimes share outside observations. A consultant is there to give you direction in the best interest of your business.
Are you struggling to develop hard skills, or soft skills? Hard skills are things you can do, such as editing, cashier, write a contract, graphic design, project management, accounting, patient care, etc. Soft skills are how you do things; non-technical skills that impact performance. For example, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, decision making, problem solving, time management, and more.
Do you feel like you are not progressing? If you have worked with a consultant, but you feel like the business advice doesn't fit you well, or you are not progressing, consider working with a coach to determine what barriers are preventing your success.
Is there anything major going on in your life? Coaches can help you learn to apply your strengths in new ways when life changes. A consultant will help you make changes to your business to fit the changes to your life.
Are your work and personal life out of balance or harmony? A consultant can help you with many of the hard skills of running a business. The great ones will also address taking care of yourself as the owner. A coach can help you set priorities, boundaries, and set aside time so you can do and be your best when you are working.
In the fall of 2022, we will be adding coaching services to our offerings and making some adjustments to our existing services. Please, reach out if you have questions!