What Are the Benefits to Using a Coach or Consultant in Business?

Not Nearly as Much If It Doesn’t Include Accountability as Part of the Process

Let’s start by answering the question, what is a coach or consultant?

That’s a really good question. If you ask five different people, I will bet you will get five different answers. As I’ve been working to help construction companies do better proposals with my proposal system, I’ve been asking myself this question.

So, what is the difference between a coach and consultant?

According to Wikipedia, coaching is a form of development in which an experienced person, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance. Coaches use a range of communication skills to help clients shift their perspectives and thereby discover different approaches to achieve their goals.

A consultant, on the other hand, is a professional who provides advice and further purposeful activities in an area of specialization. Someone who advises on “how to modify, proceed in, or streamline a given process within a specific field. A consultant should be able to correctly diagnose and effectively transform a problem and apply information, resources and processes to create a workable and usable solution.

I see coaching as more teaching, training and implementing. It can include consulting, or it could be the next step after. It is more reliant on understanding the subject being coached.

I see a consultant as someone who evaluates a company’s processes and systems, assesses them, and offers ways to improve or new to replace the existing. Consulting is a valuable procedure, but a little more distant and less connected than coaching.

The biggest issue with either is the lack of follow through on the part of the receiver.

Around thirty years ago when I was in a business partnership, we had the construction thing figured out. We knew how to build. What we were struggling with was the business side of things.

After some discussion, we hired a consulting company…and it wasn’t cheap. It cost us $20,000 and in the early 90s for a small company, that was a lot of money. I could have bought a new truck.

They reviewed our business extensively and gave us a lot of new processes and procedures. It was great. The problem was that after the new wore off…we quit using them.

I’ve seen this happen over and over, both with company’s and individuals. We pay for some new training or program, and then gradually slide back into the old routines that we were trying to get away from.

The problem is a lack of accountability.

This is a bigger problem than just with business systems and training. It permeates our society. We want to do better, but what happens if we don’t…nothing. Sure, we may be disappointed, but that only hurts for a little bit and eventually becomes the norm.

How can we be more accountable?

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