Which is the Best for Career Development: Consulting, Coaching or Counselling?

You might have noticed that sometimes these words are interchangeable when it comes to business job titles in the UK and, whilst, they all exist to provide help, the dynamics of the conversations involved are different.

Consulting, also called Consultancy, has a directive approach and information sharing is more one-way: from the Expert to the other parties. It is very much as in the case of Advice and Guidance, where one party in these conversations will have more knowledge on a subject and will share it with others.

Counselling and Coaching have a non-directive approach and the conversations are two-way. Although advice could be given if asked for, the aim is not to tell someone what to do or how to do something, but to have guided conversations of questions. Ultimately, this would lead to the clients discovering their own new ideas and goals about what to do or how to do it.

Consulting, Counselling and Coaching requires trust between the parties and, therefore, the qualities of Consultant, Counsellor and Coach are extremely similar and you will find all of them working with organisations, helping others with their work.

What, then, is the difference between Consulting, Coaching and Counselling?’ – you may ask. Although there is no exact answer, looking at why they happen and what they are intended to achieve might make things a little clearer.

Consulting happens when someone needs expert advice on a subject.

Counselling happens when the client has a problem or a difficult change situation and their aim is to find a solution to overcome the problem or to move on.

Coaching happens to enhance performance by unlocking potential. At AJW Careers, they all have their roles when working with clients as and when they are most helpful to achieve the aim of the intervention and to help others become their best selves at the end of the work.