The coaching relationship is egalitarian in nature. Coaches are thought partners who help clients move forward to achieve their goals.
Therapists, consultants, and mentors typically operate in an expert role. Therapists diagnose and treat mental health conditions and help address family/relationship problems. Consultants use their expertise to provide recommendations and advice to help solve a client’s problem. Mentors share their personal experience relevant to a mentee’s current/desired career path or leadership role.
Coaches focus on the present and future. They build upon a client’s strengths and what is already working to identify possibilities and overcome obstacles to achieve goals.
Therapists, consultants, and mentors are more past/present and problem-focused. Therapists help clients process past trauma and alleviate emotional pain. Consultants and mentors provide advice on how to solve problems and handle career challenges.