Consultant vs. Trainer vs. Coach vs. Mentor

What’s the difference between a coach, a mentor, a trainer or a consultant?

Coach = This is WHY you want to do it.                                    I’ve already seen it.

  • Unlock insight and potential!
  • Learn from my questions and exploration
  • “This is WHY to do it.”
  • Seek coaching for exploration and DISCOVERY!
  • Goal as a coach is to generate improvements and make decisions.

  Mentor = This is WHICH + WHEN you want to do it.         I’ve already done it. 

  • Offer guidance and shortcuts!
  • Learn from my path and experience
  • “This is WHICH + WHEN to do it.”
  • Seek mentoring for novelty and CHANGE!
  • Goal as a mentor is to guide and transfer experience.


 Trainer = This is HOW you want to do it.                       I’ve already known it.  

  • Provides information and integration!
  • Learn from my skills and expertise
  • “This is HOW to do it.”
  • Seek training from skills to EXPERTISE!
  • Goal as a trainer is to grow talent and transfer expertise.


 Consultant = This is WHAT you want to do.                 I’ve already solved it.

  • Brings analysis and recommendation!
  • Learn from my answers and examples
  • “This is WHAT to do.”
  • Seek consulting from options to ANSWERS!
  • Goal as a consultant is to solve problems and achieve promises.


Here's Another Way to Look At It

At first you may think they are all the same, but there are big differences. Each has a role to play in helping you develop personal growth. Let me show you what each does and what you can expect from working with them.


  1. Consultant: A consultant Is used when needing help for a specific problem and needing a specific answer. Seeking the truth, to help you answer the “what” question. They are usually an expect in their field who will analyze what you are doing and make suggestions for improvement or answer questions you have.
  2. Trainer: They pull out the best in you. They train you in a specific skill. They offer your values, they help you discover the “how”. When thinking about trainers most people think of working out or athletics. A trainer makes you into the best athlete you can be. The same can be said for a business trainer.
  3. Coach: A coach will get the best out of you. Everyone has a certain wisdom - they will help get it out of you. Self-discovery. They help you find your ambition.
  4. Mentor: A mentor is after your legacy. They will give perspective and guide you using the wisdom they have learned throughout their life and career.


Which One Do You Need?

Which one makes sense to work with first? It all depends on the industry, type of business, or field that you are in. Also, what type of change and for whom. There are different experts for different jobs. You can see the differences above, and I hope this gives you a different perspective and helps you choose the best one for your current needs.


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