Training and coaching sound like
they could be two different words describing the same practice—imparting information
that someone else—students, friends, acquaintances, employees, trainees—can
learn and grow from.
But in fact, training and coaching each serve a distinct
purpose and, while they share similar attributes, they have completely different
purposes. Knowing the differences between training and coaching, as well as
when and how to deploy them, is key to affecting and improving personal and
professional relationships, job performance, and overall satisfaction in life.
Although there are elements that cross-over between the two
practices, their descriptions are different and include:
Training (More group-oriented): Instructing, developing, and nurturing life and job
Coaching (More small group or one-on-one oriented
toward fine tuning skills): Guiding, motivating, encouraging, advising;
opening the mind to alternate ideas that can improve behaviors.
All of the 3 training attributes can cross over into the
4 coaching attributes and visa-versa. But there are still distinct differences
in how they are delivered:
Training has more of an
emphasis on the teacher/student relationship. The seasoned or knowledgeable
professional introducing students to new skills, concepts, behaviors, etc.
The emphasis in coaching is more that of a
partnership. Two professionals working together for the betterment of the one
being coached. Raising or increasing the life skill sets, abilities, and
capabilities that are already resident in the individual, but that could be
Much of the success of either practice depends on the
individual mindset of each participant. Students should display not only the
willingness and openness to receive the content from the instructor, but combine
that with an expectation that by employing the knowledge they learn, their
effectiveness as a person will be enhanced.
Instructors should display an unselfish commitment to
deliver meaningful content, consciously delivered. To lead with the purpose of
giving the best of themselves as a living illustration.
The greater the commitment to these core ideals each
participant brings to the relationship, the greater the return each will
receive. As life-students, we walk away with a greater understanding of the
life skills we can employ in bettering ourselves and our world. As teachers and
trainers, if we do it right, we walk away with as much or more positive returns
as those we feed. We become better through training and encouraging others to
In life, we should all be teacher/learners, gaining
and giving in a continual adherence to personal and corporate improvement.