If you think about it, what is the most important benefit of any corporate coaching program? It is to affect behaviour change in some aspect of the business that requires improvement. It is about people doing things differently to what they were doing before. What is the best way to make this happen and is corporate coaching the best solution?
It is most interesting to discover the way people absorb, retain and apply new information. Some people are visual while others are auditory or kinaesthetic learners. This learning preference plays out very differently in corporate training as opposed to a corporate coaching environment. When people are in a training room the challenge of the facilitator is to engage the audience in the hope of fulfilling everyone’s learning preferences. A tough ask indeed!
The facilitator has another even bigger challenge. This is the avoidance styles of participants when they are not keeping up to speed with the learning. Few people will ever admit to their deficiencies and hence leave without gaining the necessary knowledge.
When it comes to corporate coaching the dynamic is different. There is a one on one interaction with a corporate coach making it a lot safer and comfortable for the participant to communicate any challenges. In business many people experience vulnerability and lack of confidence as two major obstacles. Group training and workshops can do little to improve these factors as there is a limit to how far down the rabbit hole you can go.
Corporate coaching does not have this restriction. If the skills of the corporate coach are honed, the results can be exceptional. Another important aspect is structure. Corporate coaching is a process not a program. This difference is material when it comes to the question of sustainability.
When one compares the effectiveness between corporate training and corporate coaching one would need to look at what the preferred outcome is. If it’s more on the behavioural slant, my suggestion is corporate coaching as a preferred method.
However when it comes to more skills based learning, training is often a better choice. This option also provides another aspect to learning that corporate coaching cannot offer. This is group learning and interactivity. We often tend to learn from the questions of others and through interactions that provide the foundation for exploration and discussion. Sometimes even just hearing the conversations of others can spark a new wave of thinking within us.
The trend now days is focused on achieving results better and faster. Short term results are the major pressure for executives. They are looking for high quality engagement and a corporate coach that can bring them to reaching their goals in the most effective and successful way.
No other learning intervention can achieve this tough ask other than in a one on one interaction between a highly experienced corporate coach and his client.
Perhaps when the pressure subsides people will afford the luxury of sitting a two day training workshop?