Counselor v/s Consultant

Today while walking towards the office, I saw this huge hoarding professing that their “councelors” were unique in that they “listened”. Incidently that was a quality of a good consultant as well (or a good leader, husband, etc etc). But what really intruiged me was that I couldn’t clearly differentate between a counselor and a consultant. Time to Google I thought.

The outcome of the searches were very interesting. Firstly, there were some overlap in meaning for eg:

counselor One whose profession is to give advice in law, and manage causes for clients in court; a barrister

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998

con·sul·tant A physician or surgeon who does not take actual charge of a patient, but acts in an advisory capacity to the patient’s primary physician

Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc

After cursory research, I will pretend to have understood and try to explain. A counselor is one who applies his domain expertise (eg: law) into the client situation, whereas a consultant tries to redefine the problem itself and attempt for, perhaps radically, different solutions to enable you reach your goals.

Thus the goals of a counselor and consultant are different. The counselor seeks to give you the best out of a situation. The consultant tries to alter the situation itself keeping in mind your goals and objectives. The latter is clearly more painful and time consuming, but ultimately more rewarding.

Hi! Welcome to ArunRocks, an odd collection of writeups on programming, travel, gadgets and practically anything under the sun. This state of affairs could be blamed on the ecelectic interests of your host, Arun Ravindran. He loves programming in several languages especially Python.

Posted on:Thu, Jul 15, 2004

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