Coaching vs. Consulting ~ What’s the Difference?


I get asked this question all the time and I’m always fascinated by the responses when I ask the question back “what do you think the difference is?”.  Many will launch into a detailed explanation of what they have experienced (good and bad) while others will respond with, “I’m not sure, that’s why I’m asking you.”  Here’s what I share with them.

The biggest difference I’ve learned between the two is that coaching guides people to create better versions of themselves through partnership and collaboration, whereas consulting most often uses command and control techniques.  This is not to say that this is true for EVERY coach or consultant, merely what I have learned and observed in the course of my 20+ year career working with, and as, a dental practice coach. Both models get results and are largely dependent on the type of person and situation involved.   ‘One size fits all’ does not apply when it comes to the business of dentistry.  There can be “consultant” moments in coaching, too ~ times when a coach needs to direct a client specifically in what to do ~ but for the most part, dental practice coaching is a process of leadership development, systems implementation and accountability, all centered around the individual and professional goals of the owner dentist and team. Coaching is what I do.

Change isn’t easy ~ partnering with a coach involves hard work and commitment.  It also means breaking out of your comfort zone, being open to new ways of doing things (dare I say being vulnerable) and a willingness to think AND act differently than you have in the past.  When all of these pieces come together, the “magic” truly happens … your practice becomes a higher functioning business, has consistently satisfied patients, maintains an engaged and happier team and, last but not least, an even happier dentist.

If you’re looking for someone to hand you a box and say “this is what you need to do and how to do it” without collaboration, planning and strategy, then you would do well with pursuing any one of the dental consulting companies out there with a quick Google search.  If you’re ready to grow your practice from good to great with a personalized approach from an experienced local coach committed to your success, then let’s schedule a call to get acquainted.

Either way, it’s up to you.


Robyn Reis

Robyn Reis

Robyn began her dental career in 1998 as a marketing and communications director for a large group practice, and instantly fell in love with the world of dentistry. She has spent every waking moment since learning, growing and collaborating with dentists and their teams utilizing her expertise in all aspects of dental practice management, marketing, communications, HR, continuing education, and laboratory sales. Robyn's personal goals are to make a difference in someone's life every single day and to give the best of herself to those around her. Robyn and her family live and play in Northeast Ohio.