7 Expert Types ~ Type of Expert Are You?

profitable-niche-4Which Type of Expert Are You?

What’s the difference between a Coach, Consultant, Teacher, Trainer, Mentor etc?

One of the reason’s why I asked this question is that I see so many people saying that they are looking for one type of expert support whereas what they are really looking for as I hear them voice their expectations is another.


A coach empowers the client to navigate their own path towards the achievement of a pre-determined short-term goal.

The coach focuses on the present and the future. They find out where you you are and where you want to go in life, and work with you to get there. Just like a football coach, a coach may not necessarily have been where you are trying to get to, but they are equipped with tools to help you get there.

A coach cheers you on.


Traditionally, consultants are experts who research the options open to the client, and give advice in order to help them make the best choices.

They come into a situation to review it, and offer advice on how it could be improved. They often provide advice to their clients that will help them gain the competitive edge

A Consultant gives expert advice, they are not so concerned with helping you to implement the advice.

However, these days, you have another breed of contractors who are contacted to go into a work situation to specifically implement solutions.


A Mentor often has a lot of knowledge and experience in the area of the mentees pursuit.

Mentoring is strongly relational and developmental; it strongly focuses on the development of the mentee over a long term period.

The goal of the mentor is to help their mentee achieve what they themselves have achieved. Mentors often take the lead with the expectation that their mentees will follow.


Teachers are experts who instruct on a subject matter. They impart their knowledge to their students formally as well as informally.

The teacher’s workroom is often the classroom.  They also deliver their content through seminars.


A Trainer provides the environment for the transference and development of skill.

Trainers are high on implementation, they teach their trainees how something works and then get them to implement it.  The trainer’s workroom is often the workshop.


Counsellors focus on helping their clients resolve unresolved psychological issues from the past.

They provide a conducive and safe environment for the client to unveil their challenges and feelings in a confidential way.

The competences of the counsellor are often around the areas of questioning, listening and guiding.

Counsellors help to answer the question why.


A Strategist helps you work out the how.

You may know exactly where you are trying to get to  but then the strategist comes in to help you to work out a way to get there quickly.

A vision without an executable plan for its accomplishment is dead, strategist helps you work out the steps you need to take to accomplish your vision and the vehicles that would help you get there.

The strategist gives you a roadmap, strategies and systems.

Things You Hear People Say…

You hear a lot of people say you can’t help people go where you have not been, that’s not true as we see in the example of Sport Coaches.

You hear people say you can’t give marriage counsel if you’ve never been married, yet Paul and Jesus did and they were single.

As Believers, we also need to factor in the anointing. The anointing in us works for others most of the time and not necessarily for us.

God has also given us the Bible which is his ancient wisdom that has worked all through the ages.

Let’s embrace his thought and view.  Let’s not limit God.

What are your thoughts?

  • Joanna Oliver

    Thank you. I think sometimes people are more comfortable with saying they ‘need’ one type of intervention, rather than another….for instance, needing a coach rather than a counsellor because of the perceived stigma (of needing counselling). I think the lines between trainer and teacher are definitely blurred nowadays. There’s also a school of thought that says that with faith, no one would need any other intervention than the word :-)

    • Davida Yemi-Akanle

      I’ve come across that myself. I’d say I would prefer the coaching paradigm more than the counselling paradigm only because, I what you think on becomes bigger. So I’d prefer to focus on solutions rather than problems.

      I simply see these forms of “intervention” as you put it, as strategies for helping people. If you have the word and the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit can lead to in the direction of support and help.

      Most of these interventions can be traced back to the Bible anyway..also they may have been secularised through secular thoughts and philosophies.

      Most of the expert types I’ve mentioned, will probably fall under the domain of the Counsellor – who gives counsel in matters of personal life, business or war, the Teacher and the Discipler

      Most do not touch on the spiritual dimension of life thus may not proffer holistic and lasting solutions.

      • Joanna Oliver

        Yes….much of it can be traced back….it’s long been interesting to me how this has been secularised….like mainstream repackaging in order to suit more palates. Thanks :-)

  • http://amyhagerup.com/ Amy Hagerup

    I have never before read an explanation of these different roles. Thanks for helping us think deeper about all these things. I love your conclusion on our anointing – our calling. So powerful and true.

    • Davida Yemi-Akanle

      It’s so important we view things from a Biblical standpoint Amy other wise we let the world and its views disarm us and make us incompetent.

      We often quickly jump on the world’s bandwagon and allow the world to define who we are or the box in which we are to fit and end up living a life of inefficiency and struggle…. Selling our gold for bronze.

      I’ve seen a lot of this with the coaching revolution… More can be said but I reserve my comments for some other time.

  • http://www.pedrookoro.com/ Pedro Okoro

    Hi Davida, thanks for an excellent and thought-provoking post! Sometimes in ministry we are required to switch between some of these roles. And that’s when the anointing makes the difference. There have been times, when as a pastor, I found myself acting as a coach, a counsellor, a mentor, a strategist, a teacher, critic and cheer leader to thesame person…over a period of time. Without the anointing that wouldn’t be possible! We must depend on God and make use the resources He has made available for us.