Coaching is one of the most confused topics in management.
Whilst training is undeniably important, especially when a new employee joins the company and needs to learn core skills, research has shown coaching can, in many cases, provide the most benefits to employee performance.
So what is the difference between training and coaching?
1. Ask Powerful Questions and Shut Up.
Training tends to involve a ‘student’ who listens, observes and practices a new skill based on what the ‘teacher’ is demonstrating. Coaching is quite different. The coach may or may not be the expert and instead of giving ‘teaching’, the coach simply asks powerful questions with the aim of prompting impactful discussion and self-learning.
The core goal is not to 'teach' but rather allow the employee to come to new realisations themself through meaningful discussion and inner reflection.
2. Inner Focus.
Training tends to be focused on 'external' skills that need to be learned such as how to serve customers, how to prepare a presentation or how to drive a forklift.
Coaching is instead focused on the 'inner' roadblocks to an employee reaching their potential. This could include addressing personal insecurities, problems in dealing with other people or how the employee approaches new challenges.
Its shouldn't focus on operational tasks but rather on improving the mindset of employees to complete tasks. Often coaching is really about addressing personal 'blockages' which are stopping an employee, who is well trained in the tasks required, from performing at a consistently high level.
Training is often carried out in groups where individuals are taught and practice a new skill together. Coaching on the other hand, is personal in nature and therefore must always be done on a one-on-one basis.
It is vital that coaching, due to highly personal nature of discussions, is done in a private and quiet environment to make the employee feel safe to open up and participate in constructive discussions.
Training usually has short-term goals that can be measured. Coaching is long term. It never has a short-term impact but is better tracked over time.
Coaching is one of the most neglected tasks in business. However, if done correctly and regularly, it can reap massive rewards for both employee and the company.
It requires self awareness and a calm demeanor to get positive outcomes.
CEO/Founder @ RosterElf
Magically Simple Staff Rostering