Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

Hey there!

I got a comment on one of my other videos from Paula Leinweber, who’s just created a VO meetup group and wanted to know how to be a great facilitator and mentor.

That made me think about coaching, and consulting, and mentoring and facilitating – what those have in common, and how they are different. Here’s a few things that might make that meetup easier for her to run:

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Hope this helps!


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hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I got an email from one of my pro
readers Paula line Weber and she’s
really excited she’s decided to get
together a voiceover Meetup
there’s a meet-up that I go to here once
a month called voices anonymous it’s
awesome and it’s not far from where I
live so it’s easy to get to if I’m
working here in the studio but she wants
to know what best practices would be for
running a meet-up
you know she’s organizing it she’s gonna
be the one standing up in front of
everybody and saying welcome we’d love
to we’d love to thank you for coming to
the so it struck me that the idea of
being a facilitator is something that a
lot of people don’t get much training in
and it’s kind of aligned with being a
coach or a consultant but they’re all
three different things so I wanted to
kind of discuss the differences between
a coach and a consultant and a
facilitator a facilitator there’s a
little bit of elements of each in each a
coach is and I get called coach all the
time I don’t think I’m a coach because
I’m not patient enough to be a coach a
coach in the sense of business or
training of a skill other than an
athletic coach an athletic coach isn’t
like take a basketball coach basketball
coach tells players how to do things
moves them around on the court plans
plays helps them with skills but has a
staff that kind of helps with those as
well you have a strengths training coach
you have a skills coach and then you
have the head coach right but a coach
asks a lot of questions a coach helps
his client get to the answer by asking
the questions that they can answer and
hopefully they’ll realize the the answer
that the coach wants them to get coach
doesn’t tell them the answer that’s a
consultant so coach is like so what do
you think of that
mm hmm I see and and why do you think
right yeah got it okay um what kind of
result do you want why do you think
you’re not getting that you know that
it’s all these questions and I am just
not I am not patient enough to do that
when somebody says to me how do I do
this I want to tell them and that’s what
a consultant does so a coach try to Lee
tries to lead their client toward the
answer with questions a consultant gives
her clients the answers after getting
enough information about what’s going on
right and that’s really more of the
realm where I am I’m more of a
consultant because again I’m too I’m too
impatient to ask questions and I want to
give people information because I want
them to get where they’re going faster
and if they’re asking me my opinion I’m
gonna give them my opinion rather than
say okay here’s a bunch of questions
what do you think and then a facilitator
is kind of a combination of those things
a facilitator needs to step back and not
be tied to the outcome right so for
Paula or for anybody else who’s running
a meet-up
when you start a meeting like that it’s
a good idea to sort of have a theme or a
subject matter that you’re going to
discuss say you’re gonna do a meet-up
and you’re gonna discuss microphones
right a facilitator doesn’t want to have
to come in and have preset or pre
conceived notions about what the best
microphones are what they want to do is
they want to generate discussion they
want to generate discussion and have the
people that are attending give their
opinions counter with other opinions
offer their their personal wisdom you
know this worked for me I don’t know if
it’ll work for you so what you want to
do with facilitating is you want to be
asking questions like a coach but you’re
not leading someone to a particular
result you don’t really know how a
meet-up is going to end up if it ends up
at all I mean you may end up with a
whole bunch of people you know viciously
arguing with each other because it’s a
very divisive issue
or it may be a part of the room learn
something that they never learned before
and it’s really important that what you
do is keep things on track you can ask a
question and somebody will come up with
sort of a side trail to that as they’re
doing the answering and it can kind of
veer the the questions and answers and
the discussion off the tracks so your
job is to create a subject matter for
the evening for the for the the Meetup
and a reason for talking about that why
do you want to talk about microphones
because they’re confusing because
they’re expensive because they’re
sometimes finicky because the different
microphones for different uses there’s
all kinds of reasons why you’d want to
do it but in the end what you want to do
is generate discussion that everybody
walks away with saying go that was
useful you know I’m glad I came here
tonight so Paula good luck with that I
so you know admire you for doing that
and always be of service you know you
doing this you creating this meetup is a
wonderful thing to be of service to your
peers to your fellow vo talent it’s a
great question I hope that helps if
you’ve ever facilitated a meeting or if
you’ve ever been a coach or a consultant
and you have anything you want to add to
what I said please do so in the comments
below if you’ve ever gone to meetups and
you have some advice for Paula on what
not to do you know maybe you’ve gone to
a meet-up and you’ve witnessed some
things you don’t like go ahead
mention those I’d love to find out what
they are I can tell you that I love the
meetups I go to everybody’s got their
own personality and its really
interesting sometimes to see how things
turn out but you make great friends and
you have a good time you learn something
maybe it pushes your your your journey
along a little bit but it’s good to get
out of the Batcave you know I mean
you’re in this space and you’re doing
your work and it’s it’s good to get out
and make sure that the Sun and the moon
are still there yeah so give me a
comment below ask questions whatever
you’d like I’m so thrilled that you’re
joining us for and I by us I mean you
know me and
my team for these these videos if you
want to subscribe to my channel no we’d
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click on that when I’m David H Lawrence
to the 17th and I so appreciate you
watching and I’ll see you tomorrow



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  1. Great topic David! Thank you for the commitment to produce these clips each day!
    I, together with two other FaffCon 8 attendees, have been facilitating the “Northern Voiceover Professionals” group here in the Twin Cities for a little over a year now. I think having a theme “pre-identified” would provide more incentive for attendance. To date, we have some great meetings once we get going!! I am thankful for those who choose to come and participate.

  2. I appreciate you being a consultant David! To me, when I was looking into VO, the fact that you had all of your classes and recommendations on equipment and techniques in one place, no questions asked, made me decide to become a pro. There is so much overwhelming info and opinions on VO and the acting world, while hearing others options and experiences are nice, it’s also great to have a source that I feel like I can trust to give me the right answer!