Corporate Executive Coaching Helps You Find Out What You Want To Do. Consultants Want to Tell You What They Think You Should Do.
About the only thing executive consulting and corporate executive coaching have in common is the word “executive.” They are as different as night and day.
Consulting focuses on your business by providing specific recommendations and business advice. The consultant business model is all about analyzing your business and making recommendations what they think you should do. You give them access to your business data and they come back with specific recommendations how to fix the problems they are identifying.
Corporate executive coaching is different. It focuses on your education, growth and decision making process so that you master leadership skills. The coaching business model is all about helping you acquire leadership qualities in the first place. You remain in control by learning how to manage your business smarter and make better informed decisions.
In other words, consulting gives you a fish while corporate executive coaching teaches you to fish so that you can have all the fish you want for the rest of your life.
Which would you rather have, and why?
The Difference Between Consulting And Corporate Executive Coaching
Corporate executive coaching still pays attention to the realities of business. We just approach it in a different way.
In executive coaching there is no analysis or valuation of specific parts of your business or industry, but there is education on strategic planning and change management so that you can do your own analysis and make your own, independent decisions.
Your personal executive coach will never provide a specific recommendation for a specific action, unless you request it or give permission. But your coach will educate you about the different perspectives to consider so that you can independently make an appropriate decision for yourself.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” – Henri Nouwen
In coaching there are no specific recommendations nor does the coach serve as a person who evaluates your business; however, your executive coach will work with you as an unbiased partner to develop the skills you need to make informed decisions and to understand the trade-offs involved.
In short, a personal executive coach always focuses on you – your education and decision process as well as overcoming the obstacles that are keeping you from reaching your business and personal goals. Your coach never makes specific business recommendations because that is the domain of a consultant. As you will see below, the two should never be mixed.
It is not in your best interests.
Traditional Executive Advice Is Not Adequate
Corporate executive coaching has developed for one reason – because it is necessary.
Coaching borrows from both consulting and therapy
The analysis presented here is drawn from an online survey developed by senior editors at Harvard Business Review and Carol Kauffman of Harvard Medical School.
If traditional consulting advice was adequate the results would look different, but they don’t. The facts are undeniable. Leaders are challenged by an environment that is complex and changing rapidly. Traditional consulting advice has not satisfied people’s needs to make smart decisions and the results prove it. A new alternative is required, and that alternative is executive coaching.
How is Consulting Not Serving You?
The consulting system is built on a business model that profits from the knowledge you already accumulated. Consultants gather the data and make specific recommendations to implement.
But you already know what you need to do to improve the business. It’s no secret that you should reduce your costs, generate more revenue, and invest in new innovations. You also understand pretty well how you should do these things. The problem is not in the knowing – the problem is in the doing.
It’s one thing to tell people what they should do, and it is an entirely different thing for them to actually do it. People are complex, emotional animals – not rational computers.
Instructing people to create and live their dream by giving them “how-tos” is like telling the obese to lose weight by eating less and exercising more. Duh, but so what? How does that help anything? They already know what they should do but they aren’t doing it. Similarly, everybody who has made it to the top already knows they need to spend less, generate more and invest smarter – but they aren’t doing it.
“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” – Erica Jong
The real question is how to get someone to do what they really want to do but for some strange reason aren’t doing already. How do you get people to grow and achieve the professional and personal life of their dreams? That is the domain of executive coaching. A mysterious “something” is keeping people from doing what they already know they should do and consulting advice isn’t going to solve that problem. Why?
Because traditional consulting advice is about managing the existing business – not people. It’s all about the knowing it all – not the problems people have with implementing.
Consultants have it all backwards. People are the cause of their problems, and the products that consultants sell are only tools – not solutions. Just as we can all buy the same tools at the local hardware store, we don’t all have the same skills to build a quality home. Different people with the same tools will build radically different homes. Some will come out good and others will be junk.
Similarly, we can all buy the same tools from your consultant, but we won’t all achieve the same success. People with intelligence will succeed regardless of knowledge level, while others without intelligence will subsist in mediocrity – or worse. The difference is the person’s conversational intelligence, and that is the domain of executive coaching.
In essence, traditional consulting advice is ignoring the most important part of your success – you. If you have a problem then you are the reason it exists. You won’t find the solution to your problems by looking outside yourself to a consulting report offered by a consultant. Instead, you must look inside yourself to your conversational and emotional intelligence. Executive coaching does just that – traditional consulting advice does not.
The Advantages of Corporate Executive Coaching
Executive coaches work with much more than just “how-to” tools. They work with you. That’s because your path to freedom will be unique to you, and the obstacles you must overcome will be yours alone to face.
If success, fulfillment, and freedom is your goal then it is critical to find the right path uniquely fitted to your needs among all the paths available. This requires a more comprehensive model that fills in the pieces to the puzzle left vacant by traditional consulting advice. After all, there is no point in putting you on a particular path to success if you aren’t first taught how to get on the path and stay on the path long enough to succeed.
Executive coaches are educators and mentors rather than product sales people. Executive coaching can educate you on what works, what doesn’t and why, saving you time and money on your path to professional and personal advancement.
|Follows the client’s agenda||Follows the advisor’s agenda|
|No specific action recommendations||Specific action recommendations|
|Client’s have unique strategies, plans||Client’s strategies look similar|
|Client becomes expert and own authority||Advisor is authority|
|Relationship creates independence||Relationship creates dependence|
|Client is accountable and responsible||Advisor is accountable and responsible|
|Asking questions and educating||Telling directions|
|Focuses on learning and growth of client||Focuses on product sales|
|Goal is to create a fully functional, educated, independent client||Goal is to create a recommendation for a dependent client|
|No product sales||Sells products|
|Teaches self-responsibility||Takes away self-responsibility|
|Paid for eliciting, educating, expanding, and supporting client’s whole success||Paid for advice.|
|Draws out client’s values, skills, and knowledge||Imposes advisor’s values, skills, and knowledge on client|
|Client centered||Product centered|
More Benefits of Executive Coaching …
Executive coaching provides a structured and collaborative environment in which you can not only expect business growth but personal growth and performance improvement as well. Clients frequently state that many other aspects of their life improve along with their professional picture when coaching.
Executive coaching promotes self-discovery, improved focus, and a renewed openness to taking more effective actions. Through executive coaching you can develop improved self-confidence and mastery over your destiny. The result is a more successful, capable and independent you. Click here to see what previous clients say you can expect from executive coaching.
“No one wants advice, only collaboration.” – John Steinbeck
You don’t need to walk the journey to freedom alone. You can avoid many of the obvious mistakes and accelerate your progress with the support of your executive coach – and without many of the conflicts of interest inherent in traditional executive advice.
In summary, the difference between executive coaching and consulting advice is simple. Consulting advice wants to manage you by selling you a fish; whereas, executive coaching mentors and supports you to build your success in the first place by learning how to fish so that you can independently get all the fish you want for the rest of your life.
If you would like to try executive coaching for yourself click here to learn how to get started.
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