The differences between Coaching, Mentoring, Consulting explained

At DICE we are passionate about providing personal and professional client-centric support which means we switch between a variety of interventions when working with you. These can be summarised into the three areas of coaching, mentoring, and consulting. One of the things we regularly find is that there is a degree of confusion about the difference between these approaches so if you’ve ever wondered which approach is the best fit for your business, this blog explains the difference!

Let’s start with coaching. Coaching is all about helping you move from one place to another. It’s like having a personal GPS for your business, so like a GPS you start by inputting your current location, then identifying where you want to get to (your destination). Your coach won’t give you direct answers or tell you what to do, but they’ll help you get to the outcome by asking the right questions, noticing your reactions (what isn’t being said as well as what is), and acting like a mirror to you. A good coach will give you the space and time to think for yourself because the mind that has the problem is usually the best mind to unlock the solution. For small and medium-sized businesses, coaching can be a game-changer. It fosters a culture of continuous growth, empowering your team members to take ownership of their roles and unleash their own creativity and abilities. When your employees feel empowered to uncover the answers within themselves, they become more motivated and engaged, leading to increased productivity and overall business success. It’s a win-win!

Mentoring on the other hand is about imparting knowledge and teaching. Imagine having a wise sage by your side, someone who’s been in your shoes and knows the ins and outs of your industry or the business challenges you are facing. That’s what a mentor brings to the table. They provide invaluable guidance, share their own experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and offer strategic insights to help you overcome obstacles and seize opportunities. We mentor in a variety of ways, not just 1-1. Our leadership development programme is delivered in a mentoring style, as we often share our own experiences of leadership challenges and wins, as well as theoretical frameworks to aid learning. We also deliver ‘mastermind’ mentoring in a mixed group, which helps individuals not just learn from DICE mentors but also from one another through a shared, adult learning environment.

Having a mentor can be a lifeline for leaders of small and medium sized businesses, who can often feel lonely and isolated, prone to feelings of overwhelm. Mentors can open doors to new networks, connect you with potential clients or partners, and offer practical advice based on real-world experiences. This kind of support can save you time, money, and loads of stress as you navigate the complexities of running a business. Plus, the mentor-mentee relationship often leads to long-lasting connections and a sense of camaraderie in the business world.

So, what about consulting? Think of it as calling in the A-team when you need specialised expertise for a particular project or challenge. Small and medium-sized businesses may not have all the resources of their larger counterparts, but that’s where hiring an expert can help. They swoop in with their supercharged skills, analyse your specific needs, and craft tailored solutions to elevate your business.

Consulting is like a turbo boost for small and medium-sized businesses. It allows you to access top-tier expertise without the need for long-term commitments of hiring an expensive employee. Whether it’s getting clear on your strategy, improving your internal communications activities or helping you to create a high performing culture, a consultancy approach helps to bring efficiency and effectiveness to the table.

In a nutshell, a well-rounded mix of coaching, mentoring, and consulting can take your small or medium-sized business to new heights because in the dynamic world of business, adaptability and growth are the keys to success.

If you think it’s time to invest in the growth and development of your team and want to tap into the wisdom of the DICE team, we would love to meet and discuss your needs. Drop us a line at: to roll with us!

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