Consulting vs. Coaching

Which one do I need?

Consulting and coaching are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Both are professional services that aim to help individuals or organizations improve performance and achieve objectives. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Consulting generally refers to providing advice or expertise on a particular issue or subject matter, while coaching typically focuses on helping an individual or team to reach their goals.

In many cases, consulting is more oriented towards solving specific problems, while coaching is more focused on personal or team development.

In some ways, the difference between the two is similar to the old distinction between giving someone a fish and helping them learn how to fish.

Another way of thinking about this is that consulting usually focuses on what we need to think about a matter, while coaching more often focusses on how we’re thinking about it.

So, in order to be effective, a consultant will need specific subject matter expertise, while a coach needs to be familiar with a set of techniques, which can usually be applied irrespective of context.

Here’s a recap of the differences: 


  • Provides advice and expertise
  • Solves specific problems or challenges
  • Explores “what” to think
  • Consultant requires subject matter expertise
  • Contributes a helpful outside perspective



  • Helps you reach your goals
  • Develops people or teams
  • Explores “how” to think
  • Coach requires specific techniques
  • Provides support making positive changes

Depending on your situation and needs, you may be able to benefit from both consulting and coaching. Consulting can be helpful when you need an outside perspective on a specific issue, or if you need expert advice on how to proceed. Coaching can be beneficial if you want help setting and achieving goals, or if you need support in making positive changes in your life.

Ultimately, the best approach for you will depend on your specific needs and objectives.

At 385 Consulting, we can help both with consulting and coaching.  You can:

for a Private, No Obligation Discussion

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