What is Coaching, Counseling and Consulting
By Bhuwan Sharma
Coaching, it feels, is a relatively new industry in an emerging market like Nepal and other Asian markets. Although this industry is expanding exponentially worldwide, we see hardly any noticeable growth in our part of the world. Recently, I have been hearing a few professionals discuss this profession more frequently although not without some confusion regarding what it actually is, it seems.
Importantly, there seems to be a lack of clarity in distinction between coaching, counselling and consulting. Although, I would have to mention that, confusion regarding these distinctions is not only limited to our part of the world. Coaching is generally about listening to your clients, asking them powerful questions that guides them to solutions that they themselves announce and envision. Coach is partnering with the client to set and achieve the client’s desired goals in a very non-judgmental way, I feel. It focuses mostly on the present to design a future that the client view as their desired outcome that may never have even been in the client’s scope of possibility before the session. Increasing your annual revenue or sales, increasing your productivity, relationship management, corporate team coaching, performance coaching for leaders or sports people are some of the examples of what areas coaching could cover. Although, the scope of coaching can sometimes feel limitless.
“Coaching is generally about listening to your clients, asking them powerful questions that guides them to solutions that they themselves announce and envision.“
Consulting on the other hand is about giving advice and helping your clients with the solution to any problems or issues they may be facing. Consultants are proclaiming to be experts in the area in which they are consulting and as such, are expected to prove their expertise and give out the necessary information to the client. Some consulting fields like, health or finance may require license or certification.
Finally counseling could involve working on clients’ past issues to explore the stressful or emotional feelings of the client. Counselling does not involve giving advice or being judgmental of clients’ issues or emotions.
Whether clients are seeing their coaches, consultants or their counsellors, ensuring an environment of trust and privacy is essential. It is very important for clients to feel safe to reveal their issues to the professional and to see that their data will be not discussed, disclosed or displayed anywhere without the clients’ consent.
It is very important for coaches and their potential clients to scrutinize the differences between all these three different profession as I have a hunch that the coaching industry will explode in countries like ours in a couple of years.