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Training Vs Coaching

When training is sought, there is normally a gap in either knowledge, skill or attitude (or ability). Training immediately addresses gaps in skill and knowledge but very rarely addresses gaps in attitude about a certain skill.

There are seven main stages to realising, seeking, providing and evaluating training. Unfortunately, the basics are generally provided (often outsourced), and the more detailed requirements overlooked. Part of these is proper evaluation and extended learning to ensure quality ROI (return on investment) and PI (performance improvement).

Quality performance is not possible unless the learner consciously decides that it is of benefit to them and have a progressive and positive attitude about the tasks being performed.

Training will always focus on the task, skill or job to be learned. Coaching takes a step beyond this, and becomes a powerful compliment to Training.

According to research, the retention rate as a result of Training lies at about 20% – depending on which sources you check. If followed by Coaching, the retention increases dramatically to over 80%. This pretty much follows the Pareto Principal. It is also claimed that Coaching can increase ROI to 6-1.

“Training” essentially means teaching a person a particular skill or type of behaviour through regular practice and instruction.

“Coaching” is an interactive structured conversation between the Coach and Learner, whereby the Coach empowers the Learner to seek discover their own answers.

Training is about the acquisition of skills and is often too generalised to provide a fast ROI. Coaching on the other hand, focuses on the needs of the Learner within their own context. Reflection is a big part of the Learner’s deveopment, and very much focuses on attitude – the third element described at the beginning of this post. With a faster change in attitude, this increases the speed at which ROI is realised.

“Tell me and I will listen, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand.” – Confucius

The key skills of a good coach are listening and questioning, whereas in training, it is more about demonstrating a task and then the learner practicing. By involving the learner in their own learning – they are essentially educating themselves, and will be empowered to retain what they have learned, normally through a fundamental positive change in attitude. This sets the tone for better retention, improved attitude, increased productivity and higher ROI ratio.

Elaine Rogers is a Business Trainer, Coach and Writer. She takes pain away. She helps soothe the rough and tumble of running a business through education, information and coaching. And a bit of entertainment. Elaine hangs out at The Smart Train She provides online training and coaching solutions in the areas of MS Office Skills, Business Skills, and Soft Skills. She also provides exclusive content for her ever growing email list.

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  • Hope to see you there Una.

  • Anonymous

    Another successful “unconference” conference, Barcamp Cork this past weekend. Good lineup of speakers (including myself!) and engagement from the audience. Business cards were swapped, twitter addresses noted down. Despite the economic recession and doom and gloom reported by the media, there are many entrepreneurs out there, building propositions for now and the future.

  • Anonymous

    Great article Elaine. Really enjoyed it.

  • Awesome post! Good insight on training and coaching.

  • “but very rarely addresses gaps in attitude about a certain skill.”

    You have totally hit the nail on the head here girl! We found we needed to spend the first hour of our financial training classes removing the fear and resentment about it and building confidence before we could even begin to teach it. Until I read your post I had no idea why. This is very very helpful to me, thank you.

  • Thank you Greg. Often people make no connection between training and coaching in the workplace. I am hoping to show an important connection between the two.

  • Thank you DeAnna – I am hoping to tackle the differences between mentoring and coaching in a later post – stay tuned 🙂

  • Well I can only commend the expenditure of that valuable hour Aileen. Often overlooked, negativity/fear towards training need to dealt with before the session begins, and should be incorporated into the session time-plan, but rarely is. Its basic hierarchy of needs (Maslow) – if the learner doesn’t feel comfortable about their environment, it will hinder their ability to learn. I have seen many a training session cater for this basic need, but not enough, unfortunately. Thanks for your comments Aileen.

  • Good post Anthea. I really liked this: “We all choose what we do in our lives (though it doesn’t always feel like that).” I know this is a tough one for many people, in fact some spends their entire lives without realising that they “made choices”. Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Anthea, this is a great reminder that we should all pay attention to. I think that last year was a very stressful year for a great many. Perhaps now is a good time to re access what’s important and deal with any remaining stresses that may exist.

  • Good post and reminder Anthea. For me, making sure to do something active has been key to keeping the stress under control – it seems to balance out the mental strains!

  • Ah yes, stress – the biggest killer of all. And to think we do that to ourselves.
    lots of food for thought there Anthea, thanks for sharing. Exercise and remembering to breathe are great paths to a healthy mind.

    When I find I am fire-fighting”, I find it hugely beneficial to pull out my Matrix and priortise what is important over what is urgent. This helps to wheedle out clutter and reduce stress 🙂

  • Deven

    good article indeed.could u suggest good book on coaching [what are different types of coaching techniques & how to make it effective]. i am a teacher at a spiritual organisation.

  • Denyse

    Great artilce. Do you have sources for the following? I would like to quote the source in a paper I am writing.
    “According to research, the retention rate as a result of Training lies at about 20% – depending on which sources you check. If followed by Coaching, the retention increases dramatically to over 80%. This pretty much follows the Pareto Principal. It is also claimed that Coaching can increase ROI to 6-1.”

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