In Coaching, Leadership Training, Organisational Coaching, Organisational Development, Perceptions, Workplace Perceptions

I get asked is there a difference between coaching and training a lot and wondered how many more people and companies out there want, need or care to know. It also made me wonder if the reason for it popping up in conversation more frequently is connected to the rise in the use of coaching as a Learning and Development modality, particularly in organisations? I’ve penned a few thoughts around it. 

The confusion. Interpretation and perception belong to the beholder as it were, so it depends on whom you ask about training and coaching. Some assume coaching’s about teaching people as the coach comes with some celestial power and knows all things. Not so. Let me explain or at least provide context. When a co-worker supports a colleague to gain the knowledge they possess on how to perform a task or use a system, is it coaching or training? Some say the former when in reality it’s the latter. Here’s why. 

So, what is coaching? Coaching presents an opportunity to work in partnership to explore and discover your specific needs, areas of support, topics and subjects that require focus. An in-depth learning process with systematic steps and dialogue to focus on winning the internal game to facilitate the winning of the external game. In other words, dealing with what’s stopping you, i.e. Self Limiting Beliefs, overcoming and or developing strategies to allow you to take action. It’s about conversations based on inquiry and future intent, in other words, clarifying. Increasing levels of awareness about lots of things but mainly perspective, mindset, and behaviours.

It’s a relationship between a coach and a client. One of equal proportions, the coach is not an expert in the client’s company, career, life or situation and is an expert in managing a structured conversation to create self-awareness in the clients’ mind through exploration. The International Coaching Federation, ICF, defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential’. They should know, so we’ll go with that. 

And Training? Training is about transferring knowledge to increase learning in new areas. However, it relies on learners remembering the detail so it can be applied to improve performance and productivity. Training is a fantastic and necessary tool and plays a massive part in the learning and development lifecycle. Here’s what I mean, you could have basic level baking skills, however no idea how to decorate with buttercream, or how to work with fondant or pipe cupcakes. It’s fair to assume that most, if not all, can be trained in these areas. 

What’s the difference? Training provides the knowledge and coaching bolsters learning by relating what is known and or understood, to what it means to the individuals in their environment. To unlock any SLB’s attached to the learning, allowing them to move forward positively. Commonly known as action learning, as it increases effectiveness and productivity in the workplace or anywhere else. Coaching and Training are the bookends of learning and development. They coexist in an interconnected, interdependent world — one balances out the other, cause and effect, equilibrium.

Here’s what I found out. Research shows an average of 50 per cent of the information received in a presentation is forgotten within one hour. After 24 hours, on average, 70 per cent is gone, and within a week, a staggering 90 per cent is lost. I think that sums it up.

BTW I could have put up this table at the beginning of the post, making it short and sweet, but sometimes you have to go on a journey to explore and discover. 😊
                                                                                           Training V Coaching.
1.Transfer of knowledge                                                                                                      1. Enhance knowledge or skills
2. Groups                                                                                                                               2. One to one or groups
3. In-house or off-site                                                                                                           3. On the job
4. Onboarding                                                                                                                       4. All levels of employees
5. Usually structured                                                                                                            5. Goal & objective orientated
6. Formal                                                                                                                                6. Based on Dialogue
7. Instructional (telling)                                                                                                         7. Based on enquiry (asking)
8. Learning focused                                                                                                               8. Development focused

Author: Lillian Latto MD MATCHFiT Consults







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