I am often asked, “Liza, what’s the difference between coaching and consulting?” Truth is, they are quite similar but have a few key differences.
The consulting process is one that centers the expertise of the consultant, typically a person who comes in with a great deal of content knowledge, skill, and experience. The consultant often works with a group of people to achieve a common goal by bringing a technical expertise to a problem and tasked with identifying and proposing solutions.
In my role as a consultant, I have been brought in by schools and organizations to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Schools and organizations contact me because there is a particular problem or challenge they are addressing. Or, in some cases, leaders anticipate a change and need someone to help facilitate that change. In my relationship with organizations, I gather information, provide workshops for training and development to raise the level of skill within the community, and circle back to outcomes that the organization wanted to achieve as a result of the consultancy. I work closely to develop strategic steps to move the organization forward and take a deep dive into the culture and climate of the community.
Individuals and organizations often call me to be their consultant because I can provide “an outside lens” to their challenge. With over two decades of experience and work with over 70 organizations, I bring a deep level of expertise to this work and give organizations and leaders access to information that they might not have at their institutional level.
The consulting relationship usually addresses the question: "How can I, Liza, help you identify and address these challenges or problems you have or are about to face?"
The coaching process is one that centers the expertise of the individual client, typically a person who needs either a nudge or a supportive push/pull in a particular direction in order to move forward in one’s work or life. The goal of the coach is to help a client identify their own goals, needs, and action plans for achieving success. The coaching model is built on confidence, support, empowerment, and enthusiasm for self-discovery and values alignment.
When a client or an organization brings me on in a coaching relationship, I spend time getting to know the individuals and begin building a relationship so that we can work collaboratively. While the consultant model relies on my expertise in content, the coaching model relies on my expertise in process. Expertise in that process also means that I center the ways in which diversity, equity, and inclusion inform who we are and who we believe ourselves to be. In my coaching experience, I match well with individuals who are thoughtful and reflective about how identity shows up in their life and their work or with individuals who are moving towards understanding how identity matters.
There are individuals who call themselves coaches and who, in all fairness, do have an intuitive sense about the process. However, as a coach trained by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, I have developed and practiced skill, knowledge, supervised training, and mentorship in the art and process of coaching. Coaching is more than “good listening skills” -- it is a responsibility to honoring the needs of the client and organization in a way that is meaningful, ethical, and client-focused.
The coaching relationship usually addresses the question: "How can I, Liza, help get you to a point where you have the confidence to address the challenges or problems you are facing as an individual or as an organization?"
The Best of Both Worlds: A Coaching-Process Consultant
One of the best approaches to change is to take a holistic approach to coaching and consulting. In this model, I am able to bring in my expertise in organizational change, leadership, engagement, sense of belonging and management and provide specific outcomes to help an individual or organization move forward. However, using the process of coaching means that individuals better understand, from a values-based lens, why change matters or how they can best be a part of the change. Together, we focus on outcomes and behaviors, exploring how to best engage with peers, coworkers, and stakeholders through change management. As the organization is going through change, I work closely with individuals to help explore what personal barriers, assumptions, or blocks they might have when addressing change, and we seek to find opportunities and synergy in the work.
The coaching-process consulting relationship usually addresses the question, "How can I, Liza, help you identify the challenges or problems you or your organization are facing, and help build your individual confidence and capacity to address them when they arise?"
Are you ready for real change?
Let’s start exploring how you can shape a more fulfilling personal and professional experience! Contact Liza for a complimentary call to find out if coaching, consulting, or a coaching-process consultant can help you move forward!