Camille Rapacz: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Belief Shift Podcast. I am your host, Camille Rapacz. I am a business consultant and leadership coach, and normally I'm joined by my lovely co-host George Drapeau, who also happens to be my brother. He is a leader in the tech business, so he brings a great perspective into this discussion that we have on the podcast, however, I give 'em a little bit of time off over the summer.
And also, let's be honest, I'm giving myself a little bit of time off too. So I decided to do a series of what I call summer shorts episodes, and this is the last one in the series. So this is one more short episode. So if you have been listening along next week, we'll be back to the normal format. If you're new, welcome, but just know that this is not my normal format.
I'm just trying something a little bit different. So today what I wanna talk about is what I'm calling the four methods of helping, and that is teaching, consulting, mentoring, and coaching. The reason I wanna talk about this is because, you know, there's always a point in everybody's professional journey, whether you're a business leader or a business owner, whether you're gonna need a little bit of help.
And most commonly we're looking to all of these sources of help, but maybe don't have a clear understanding of how they're both similar and yet different. And I think it's an important distinction to make. I think words matter and ever since I started my own consulting and coaching business, I have recognized how much these words start to mean all sorts of different things because of the way we market our businesses. And I think it's sometimes to our detriment because we're then just confusing you, the client, on what these things actually represent. So I wanna give you clarity about what these four methods of helping are so when you go out and look for help, you are better armed with information so that you can ask better questions and really get the right expert into your business. Okay, so here we go.
The first one is teaching, so this is probably the one you're most familiar with. 'cause we've all gone to school, right? So teaching is when a professional imparts knowledge, skills, and information. And it usually involves a structured lesson plan and it's typically in a classroom setting. But it could also be something that's done sort of in a more real time environment, like on the job training. So on the job training would be I'm sitting doing my job while somebody else who is the expert in that job is actually teaching me while I'm doing the work.
That's on the job training. So if it's in a classroom, this is typically done in a one-to-many relationship, one teacher to many students, but obviously could be a one-on-one sort of relationship if it's on the job training. So that's teaching, again, probably what you're most familiar with. And in business, maybe you decide to go take an online course or you decide to go to a, a training somewhere. So this is a fairly common part of professional development once you get into business as well.
Now, the second one is consulting. Consulting is when someone provides expert advice to, in our case, business professionals or owners on specific business matters such as strategy, marketing, it, finance, things like that.
And the consultant will deliver advice based on their expertise. So I. As an expert, a marketing consultant, for example, would've marketing expertise, and that's what you would specifically hire them for. So you wanna hire somebody who, they have this expertise in an area that makes a lot of sense that they're really owning and that they would be somebody who would kind of do that. Inch wide and mile deep in terms of their expertise in an area.
So this often includes providing some hands-on implementation services as well. So you might hire a consultant to come in and complete a project for you or implement something in your business. This is very focused on solving specific problems and achieving tangible goals. Most often the relationship would be more of a one to many relationship.
So while you might contract with a specific individual in the business to do consulting work, the consultant serving usually a team, an area of the business, or maybe the business overall as an entity. So that's why it's a little bit more of a one-to-many relationship.
Now the third one is mentoring. Now mentoring is when somebody provides advice, guidance, and support to a less experienced person, and they're sharing their knowledge and life experiences to help the other person develop personally or professionally.
And that mentor is acting as a role model. So they're helping them navigate challenges that are similar to ones that they, as the mentor, have navigated in the past. So sometimes this lines up with, they wanna take a similar career path to the mentor and that's why they're talking to them, or they want to have a, a quality of skillset like leadership or something of that sort that they really wanna be mentored in. So there's something that the mentor is already good at and has that experience getting to. They've been down a similar path to what the mentee wants to go down. And this is always a one-on-one relationship, and most often is not a paid engagement. This is typically a relationship that you create with somebody mentor to mentee.
Now the fourth one is coaching, and coaching is focused on helping individuals or teams achieve specific goals and improve their overall performance. A coach helps a client explore their strengths and weaknesses, develop action plans, and navigate obstacles.
Unlike mentoring, teaching, or consulting, the coach does not have to have expertise in the coachee's area of interest or skillset. So for example, for me to coach a finance person on leadership, I don't have to be an expert in finance, but I do have to know how to coach on leadership. And so I don't necessarily have to be an expert in their specific area or skillset.
The coach is focused on helping the individual reach their full potential through self-discovery and providing structure for those pursuits. And so this is very future focused and it is about empowering individuals to own their path forward and to develop themselves in whatever methods they're working to develop.
So it's typically around leadership skills or personal management type skills, things that are really focused on the core performance of an individual, no matter what their area of expertise might be. This is most often a one-to-one relationship, though you will see some group coaching, which I have done, but typically that is just a group has come together and the coach is coaching an individual one at a time, but the group is able to listen in.
And so you might end up coaching a few people during a group coaching session, but it's still a one-to-one relationship in the coaching that's occurring. It's just other people are then able to listen in as that's happening.
Now in my business I deliver teaching, consulting, and coaching. And as a professional, I also have mentored people in the past. I'm not currently mentoring anybody. But that's not something that's part of my business model. That is just something that as a professional I enjoy doing for other people. So that wouldn't be part of a paid engagement. So teaching, consulting and coaching are all part of what I do.
And again, I think that it's important to understand the distinction so that you can understand how a combination of these things might really benefit your business. So how do you know whether you should be hiring a coach or a consultant or a teacher? And it really starts with. What problem are you trying to solve?
So what is the problem in your business, or what is the problem in your professional career right now that you're really trying to solve? What would help you solve that problem the fastest and the most effectively? So speed isn't everything. It also be, has to be a very effective problem solving method, which means it needs to be something that's gonna either solve that problem permanently or at least reduce the recurrence of that problem coming up.
So here's some examples that might help you think about when you would use any one of these four methods. I'm gonna start with mentoring because that's the one that sort of stands out a little bit separate from these other three in terms of what you might go and hire for.
So if you're looking for guidance on how to navigate your career path, you wanna talk to somebody who's already done what you're doing because maybe you're trying to make a decision, do I wanna go down path A or path B? Or maybe you've decided on the path, but you want to be able to. Go down that path, maybe a little more armed with knowledge, that's a great time to find a mentor, find somebody who's already done what you're doing. So for example, I mentor somebody who is looking to quit their job in the corporate world and start their own business. I could certainly mentor somebody in that as having that experience myself. So that's mentorship.
Now the three that sort of fall in the bucket of what you would hire for. Let's start with teaching. So teaching, an example might be if you're looking for a skill, like how to be a better writer or maybe a more technical skill, like how to do project management, even how to be a better communicator. These are all things that you might look to, to, for a teacher. You might look to take a course and learn just how to do them better.
If you need someone to help you with bigger business challenges, so say you have a gap in the business in terms of maybe revenue, or maybe there's something that's just operating very ineffectively and inefficiently in your business and you need to improve it.
maybe you just need some expertise in some area of your business, like hr. You need your growing your team, and you need some more HR expertise and knowledge. This is the space where I always think it's that you don't know what you don't know. That really leads you to wanna hire a consultant. That's one reason to really go first.
So consulting is really based on that area of expertise and filling in gaps that you don't know as you're a business owner or a business leader. Consulting's also a great place to go if you just don't have enough hands on deck in order to do all of the work. Maybe you have a temporary project that's gonna take up a lot of time, but you don't really wanna hire somebody to do it 'cause you know, it's just, I need this for just six months. That's also a great time to hire a consultant to come and do the hands-on work for you.
The last example then would be around coaching. So coaching is when you are looking to say, be a better leader or to be more productive. Maybe you wanna improve on the communication among a, amongst a team how a team is communicating or collaborating or working together. So coaching can really support either individual or team work and how teams work together by tackling any number of topics.
Now, the reason that I use all three is because when you do use all three, they really help to elevate performance in a business. Going for just one can be useful, but having somebody who can bring a combination of all three of these things to the table is really, really helpful because I can adapt to any one of these areas depending on what I see the need is in your business.
That's really what this comes down to is figuring out what to do next, where you wanna get help next is really first about you understanding the problem you wanna solve and then what might help you the most today with solving that problem.
And for many of you, you might be thinking, well, I don't think I need any of these. Or maybe I do, but I can't afford this yet. Or there's any number of reasons why we sort of stall out. Maybe I don't understand what problem I'm trying to solve yet. I just know that things aren't working that well. Whatever those questions are that are in your head about what kind of help do I think I'm going to need, or what kind of help do I need today?
The best way to flush that out is to actually get on a free consultation call with me. I know. Shameless plug, right? But that's what I'm here for. I'm here to help you sort out what are the problems that are going on in your business, and how can I help you get through them faster? How do we overcome these obstacles more effectively and efficiently by me helping you in ways that will do that so that you aren't struggling and spinning your wheels like you are today. So if you wanna have that conversation, I do free consultations for one hour where I talk to people about the problems they're experiencing and what are the options for them going forward.
Now, I'm also aware that your solution may be something outside of me, like you might need a marketing expert, which is not what I do, and I will clearly tell you that if that's what I see, because I think it's important that we're all really clear about the different types of help that we all need in order to move our businesses forward.
What's most important is that you start having the conversation and you start figuring out what that looks like, because the sooner you figure that out, the faster you're gonna make progress. And even if you're not sure you're gonna do anything this year, but maybe it would be in 2024, now is still the right time to start thinking about it because there's only now gonna be like four months left in the year.
And before you know it, 2024 is gonna be here and you're gonna wanna hit the ground running. The best thing you can do in figuring out a plan for help is to see what it looks like, plan for the future, and build it into your budget. And I see lots of business owners make this mistake where they haven't built this into their budget, and so it's very hard for them to get the help that they need because it sort of came as a surprise.
Don't let this surprise you. Every single business needs help. Every single leader needs help. We all need help in order to advance our businesses. I hire consultants and coaches in my own business, and I'm just me, and I need that help as well. So, If you wanna have that conversation, I would love to help you figure out what that looks like so you can actually start doing some long-term planning around what it looks like to get that kind of help and guidance for your business.
So there's a link in the show notes where you can book a free consultation. Just scroll right down there, whatever app you're using, go to the show notes, you'll see a link and book a call with me today. I'm super excited to talk to whoever decides to book a call, and I hope that that's many of you.
'cause regardless of what happens, I would just love to talk and hear what kinds of challenges you're experiencing in your business so click that link and book a call.
Alright, that's all I have for my summer shorts episode today. And next week I'll be back with George co-hosting with me on the episode. It'll be a little bit longer episode. I'm not sure how long, hopefully not too long for all your ears to listen in, but I will be back in your ears next week.