Coach, Counselor, Consultant, Mentor – Who can help?

Hear this clearly – you are not expected to be the “hero” of every situation. It’s ok to ask for help.

Now, that we’ve cleared that up, who do you call? Who is best-suited to help you depends on what you’re facing and the type of help you want.

Orientations of the Helping Professions

At a very high level, professionals are either telling-oriented or asking-oriented. As the names suggest, they are either going to tell you how to solve the problem or they are going to ask questions and allow you to unearth how to solve the problem.

The telling-oriented professions include both consultants and mentors. Counseling and consulting represent the asking-oriented professions.

Both orientations serve specific purposes and are useful. Additionally, all four professions can at times using coaching methods and similar communication styles to assist clients.

Photo By Christina Wocintechchat Com On Unsplash
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Telling-Oriented Professions

Consultants are the ultimate problem solvers. Their literal job is to be welcomed in, asked to evaluate what you’ve previously done, offer their opinion on how to move forward, and then implement the changes. They are experts in their field and use their knowledge to solve your problems or achieve your goals.

Mentors serve as your advisor or teacher. They have shared experiences with you but are slightly further ahead. Often they will observe your current situation and offer advise based on their experience. They are the embodiment of your future success. Mentors offer a uniquely beneficial relationship based on their experience and level of personal commitment on your behalf.

Asking-Oriented Professions

Counselors focus on your psychological well-being. By diving deeply into deep-seated emotional issues, counselors promote personal healing and trauma recovery. Working with a counselor helps you understand the past and its relationship to your present with the goal of mental and emotional well-being.

Coaching aims to help you move from the present towards your future. During coaching, you will focus understanding where you are in relation to the goals you want to achieve.


Who is best suited to help you? Would you prefer someone use their expertise to offer advice or solve the problem? Or, are you seeking someone to support and guide your decision-making process?

For more information about coaching and consulting offered by Kelly, please reach out.

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