Training and coaching are development opportunities that go hand in hand. Each has its place and is determined by the needs of individuals or groups. In a nutshell training is the transfer of information (knowledge) and can include practical elements to assess understanding and application. Coaching on the other hand is a conversation designed to empower and support individuals through the identification of skills, motivation and knowledge.

Coaching can occur prior to developing a training plan to identify what skill gaps may exist in teams, as part of a training needs analysis. This approach can provide a more prescriptive approach to training rather than a blanket one size fits all approach. Coaching is typically used as method to empower people and set goals. When done well, that is by having two way conversations, understanding people, setting realistic goals, and supporting individuals is a fantastic developmental tool.

Training can be large scale, in small groups, classroom based or online. Its should be relevant and frequent, rather than used like a band aid. Effective training occurs transfer of information occurs and participants are given an opportunity to practice and apply their learnings. This can be done with role plays, knowledge checks, simulations and practical sessions.

Training and coaching are necessary in the workplace and should be advocated as opportunities to grow and develop. When I first started working in the learning and development space nearly twenty years ago, it was viewed as a punishment. Something that people were forced to do when things weren’t going well, and in some cases used to manage individuals out of a business. Thankfully less of this occurs and the perception of training and coaching in the workplace is positive.

Train when necessary, and coach frequently.

Training and coaching
Training and coaching