Training vs. Coaching
In our last blog we talked about the similarities and differences between management and leadership. In our line of work we also see some confusion between training and coaching. Knowing the differences is important if you want to best support the needs of your team, so this is how we see it…
Training is typically a structured lesson which aims to develop knowledge or skills by providing the answers. In contrast, the coaching process involves asking questions and giving feedback to help the coachee reach their own conclusions. Coaching is therefore better for those who have the knowledge already but need help identifying and overcoming their barriers to improvement. It can be done with groups or teams but has become popular mostly through a one-to-one approach.
Although training can be a cost-effective way of developing people in large groups, we have found that using a mixed approach can help to achieve sustainable behavior change. Together coaching and training can powerfully complement one another to give a holistic learning experience and to ensure that the knowledge is put to good use.
We use a simple model to decide the suitable weighting of coaching and training for those we work with – it is based on knowledge or skill gap. In cases where our clients are hoping to improve their performance at work but are in a position where they have the knowledge and skills required, we would use more coaching in our training approach. Quite often this will be with staff who have been working in their role for a long time and probably have the answers but need help to unlock them and generate action. For people who don’t have the answers – possibly because they lack the knowledge, skills or experience – coaching alone just won’t get the results.
When we design an approach with you we will combine a range of training and coaching approaches that best suits your need. Our aim is to help you achieve the change you want as effectively as possible. We simplify the knowledge and content we use as much as possible so we can spend time using a more coaching led approach to one-to-one, team and organisational work. This maximizes the impact of our work.