I have been a management consultant for twenty years. I graduated Lehigh university with a degree in industrial engineering and was hired right out of school where I experienced on the job training to act and think like a consultant. I would summarize my role is to offer advice, opinions, recommendations and most importantly solutions to problems. I was taught to minimize the assessment process and move quickly into recommendations because “time is money”. After reading chapter one of the Handbook on Coaching, I believe I rely heavily on the consulting framework (table 1.1 Coaching, Consulting, Counseling, and Mentoring: Key Distinctions). I lead from the front and am relied on as an expert who identifies barriers and blind spots and is brought in as a “cleaner” to solve difficult problems. Consulting and coaching both require a client to trust you but the focus, role, outcomes, and relationship are very different in nature. I often find it difficult to move from consultant to mentor to coach. Once I have assumed one role with a client, I find it difficult to take off one hat and put on another. I would like to be able to shift into coaching and mentoring as the situation requires it. I enjoy helping people achieve their potential and help them see their strengths. When I worked at the Gallup Organization, part of my consulting project was to bring in strengths coaches to help leaders identify their strengths and build on them. I see myself coaching with this lens.
I have a huge passion for both mentoring and coaching but have only performed in non-professional settings. I spend five seasons coaching girls’ softball and two years running an elementary school science team called Destination Imagination. I enjoyed spending six months to a year with each team and watch the players / teammates grow and develop under my guidance. Coaching and mentoring has proved the most rewarding for me and I would like to move into operating in a professional setting. I would like to explore adding a coaching element to my existing consulting toolkit. I am unsure if I will remain with a consulting firm after I graduate MSLOC or take on a new role internally.Intr