The Difference between Coaching, Counseling and Mentoring

What is the difference between Coaching, Counseling and Mentoring?

Many ask what is the difference between consulting, counseling, mentoring and coaching. Counselors look from past to the present assisting the client with healing emotional wounds and often giving the client a fresh perspective on the past. Coaches on the other hand look from the present to the future assisting the client identify roadblocks to their goals and dreams. Consider for example a football coach… the coach can see the whole team and can clearly see things from the sidelines that the players on the field are not aware of. He brings perspective and experience to the team and assists them in reaching the goal. While there are common characteristic qualities and skills in each of these, the following is a basic explanation of the distinctiveness of each field of training and experience.

Coaches
Coaches work with people who intend to make changes in their lives to accomplish more or enhance the quality of their lives. With listening skills, effective questioning, and challenges, coaches assist their clients in reaching their clients goals and solutions. Coaches provide options to consider and exchange ideas. The client sets the agenda. Many coaches specialize in one or more areas, for example: executive coaching, retirement coaching etc. Some work by telephone and have nationwide or global practices. Licensing is not currently a requirement, but certifications are awarded to coaches with specific training and experience. Coaches
Coaches work with people who intend to make changes in their lives to accomplish more or enhance the quality of their lives. With listening skills, effective questioning, and challenges, coaches assist their clients in reaching their clients goals and solutions. Coaches provide options to consider and exchange ideas. The client sets the agenda

Counselors
Counselors work with individuals who have diagnosable illness and/or behavior that may prevent them from functioning well. States require that counselors and therapists be licensed to practice based upon advanced degrees and ongoing education.

Mentors
Mentors work with people who are starting out in a business, ministry or life transition where the mentor has experience.

Pastoral Counselors
Pastoral Counselors work with people desiring a deeper understanding of scripture in order to apply this understanding to everyday life. Pastoral Counselors have extensive biblical training and/or seminary degrees along with training and certification in Pastoral Counseling.

Consultants Consultants are generally considered experts in their field. They use their experience to implement change, lead management teams, to manage projects, and structure staff, management and organizational development. They make recommendations and point out potential flaws in organizational leadership and process. Some companies engage consultants on an ongoing basis still others hire consultants for a specific project.

It has been said:
“A coach has some great questions for your answers; a mentor has some great answers for your questions.”
Coaches work to move a client forward towards reaching his or her goal. The main focus is on taking effective action . Meanwhile, the counselor explores the origin of problems, and looks at ways to develop new strategies to confront those problems. Counselors explore with their clients ways to reach life goals even in the face of apparent difficulties, emotional distress, and barriers in reaching them.

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