I continue to find that I need to separate the differences between the two labels that are coaching and training as they continue to be miss-understood. The boundaries between coaching, training, mentoring and counselling continue to confuse everywhere I go. Every time I deliver either a training course or a coaching course I separate the differences at the start, and I can honestly say 90% of individuals that I train, do not understand until I discuss the differences with them.

I seem to continue to write about this as do others when I read the latest articles. I think what has happened is that when people started the trend/fashion in coaching, it was miss-understood. I was in a company recently where the boss said, “Yep coaching we are all over that we give coaching qualifications”.  When I asked, precisely what they were doing out of interest it was blatantly apparent to me they were training. I witnessed one trainer (not coach) say I have just had a good coaching session where I saw someone telling someone else how to do something specific to a skill. That is not coaching; it is training. Ok, the differences between Coaching and Training are:

Coaching -

A conversation between the coach and the coachee whereby the coachee achieves a higher level and understanding of awareness and self-awareness, while the coach provides a safe environment and structure for that outcome to occur.

Training - 

Training is teaching or developing in oneself or others, any skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one's capability, capacity, productivity and performance and to maintain, upgrade and update skills throughout working life.

To train, you need to know the skill, to coach you don’t because it is more about the person.

How can these be miss-understood? I know the English language does not help with a ski instructor and a tennis coach, but coaching and training are different. I see the cross between coach and mentor is the same; the key is to understand the boundaries between them all.

Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training, and you can read more about her here.  She delivers training on all coaching and numerous training the trainer courses.