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Mentoring, Consulting or Coaching?

Posted by Michael Sausman on March 17, 2011 at 9:17 PM

So there you are, working (too) hard in your business and you identify that help is needed.  If its something specific like financial help, you would probably talk to your accountant or bank manager.  If they can't help then they can usuallly point you in one direction or another.

But what if its undefined, or general business, or marketing, or stragic help you need - who do you turn to then?

And do you need a consultant a coach or a mentor?

And what's the difference?

Birdwing Business Solutions deals with clients at all stages of business and uses different methods (or a combination of them) depending on the clients' needs.  So at the risk of starting a discussion (argument?) here's how I interpret the differences:

Consulting: tends to be project and task based, and often driven by outside circumstances to look at processes within the business to help improve performance.  This is usually only needed as required. Although this can be over the whole enterprise, the consultant frames the nature of the issues by making recommendations, based on their experience and the clients' circumstances.

Training:  for completeness we should include this as coaching is often confused with it: training is specific to an issue of personal development; the content is framed by the nature of the issue and it is mainly about the transfer of knowledge.

Coaching: goes beyond training and gives new perspectives on issues or problems; it is very much driven by, and therefore controlled by, the coach.  When successful, coaching can change mindsets and is crucial in any kind of change management.

Mentoring:  this goes another step further and should be framed by the client.  Done well, mentoring should look at strategic issues and make mentees think outside of the box.  Examing new concepts with a mind to the overall strategic direction and goals of the enterprise make this suitable for business owners and directors who already know where they are going.

All the above have their place in business and all should be enjoyable for all involved - any kind of learning experience should be fun!

If you want to discuss any of the above, please email me - michael@birdwingbusiness.com

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Categories: Business Help, Business Planning, Make More Profit

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