22 December 2021
The leadership skills shortage was costing employers billions of dollars a year before the pandemic started.
Now, it has intensified.
The incessant war for talent, surging customer demands and shift to hybrid working has made learning and development essential to business survival – never mind growth and success.
Traditional training and coaching programmes create skilful, high-performance leaders from within an organisation.
But what is training and coaching? Are they the same? How do they compare to each other?
This article will highlight three key differences between coaching and training and empower HR leaders to advance their company’s leadership development strategy.
In general, leadership coaching matches employees with an experienced and/or certified business coach, who listens, questions and challenges employees on how to improve their performance and achieve leadership goals.
If a manager is struggling with poor decision-making or delegation at work, a coach will help identify the solution and suggest the right actions to master their weaknesses. But ultimately, the coach is helping individuals drive their own path to success.
Historically, companies have used leadership coaching for only the most senior leaders, such as Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers, because it was very expensive.
This is changing thanks to science-based Precision Coaching methodology, which makes one-to-one coaching scalable, impactful and measurable. Employers can now coach their junior, middle, and senior managers and bolster their leadership talent pipeline.
Traditionally, leadership training is a structured, standardised way of sharing knowledge about management skills, processes, or systems. It can be delivered via workshops, e-learning modules, live online webinars or in-person training.
In 2020, more than $357 billion was invested in leadership training. From learning how to use new project management software to understanding the health and safety policy, most employees have experienced training at some point of their career.
Behaviour Change Focus:
Training is great for learning fundamental skills in a structured way. Great training sessions can teach managers the theory and tactics on how to hold difficult conversations with teams, for example.
When managers face specific workplace scenarios that weren’t covered in their original training, coaches can guide them on how best to apply their skills to the real, ever-changing workplace. This reinforces a focus on developing sustainable behaviour change.
Accountability is embedded in leadership coaching programmes. Meeting each day, week or month, coaches prompt employees to practice their learnings in a workplace environment. When this doesn’t happen, coaches challenge learners and keep them focused on achieving their goals.
Traditional workplace training programmes rarely include this high level of accountability. The onus is on the individual and their manager to ensure they apply and develop their new knowledge.
Some training, especially lectures and e-learning modules, includes tests to ensure learners are proficient in their new skill or knowledge. However, some people may discard their learnings once the training session is over.
Traditional coaching is a continuous two-way relationship between a learner and coach which can last weeks, months and years. The employee’s goals, roadmap, and solutions are usually mutually agreed, and personalised to fit their experiences, strengths and weaknesses.
Leadership training programmes are usually delivered in a linear format, where learners must absorb a wealth of information at one time. In-person workshops and seminars can offer opportunities for learners to ask questions, but often learning outcomes and materials are pre-defined and the same for all learners.
Would you like help with your company’s leadership development programme?
Get in touch and speak to one of our experts. We’d love to discuss how we can help your managers accelerate their performance.