‘Training’ is a poor process for influencing people to change behaviour in the long term. Many trainers and Organisational Change Consultants cannot or do not bother to assess or measure the impact of their intervention as a ROI for the business.
Coaching is Generative and delivers huge ROI Benefits to the Client & the Organisation
Coaching can address behaviour and attitude change very quickly. Attitude change can be very rapid – but usually requires a process of trial and error thinking in order for it to take place. Coaching is so much better. Coaching is working 1:1 with a dedicated and experienced Coach who is 100% focused on the Client. This relationship enables the Client to practise new ways behaving and managing in a safe environment away from the ‘prying eyes and ears’ of others in the training room.
Memory & the Psychology of Learning
The average person forgets 98% of what they have learned within 48 hours, unless some form of review of undertaken. The implications for recall, understanding and application of training can be exceptionally poor unless other mechanisms compensate to retain the understanding.
Bring about Personal Change is more than transferring informationThe typical training event focuses on transferring information to others. Information transfer is a poor criterion to view as positive and tangible ROI. For Training to be effective it has to be active and enable those receiving the training to have real opportunities to practise and integrate it into their repertoire of skills and abilities.
Coaching is highly participative and geared solely to the Client’s needs. You cannot get much more engagement than that. However, we know that effective Training should focus on active participation and the exchange of ideas and concepts through dialogue. But does it achieve these noble aims? Often, Training does not fulfil these criteria or their intention.
In many instances Training does not enable a higher degree of participation whereas in Coaching the learning methods focus on assessing learning through feeding back, reviewing and summarising learning with the Client.
Coaching & Attention
The average person has an attention span of 10-15 minutes. Will training lead to better retention or will Coaching promote and stimulate interest and attention?
Coaching has maximal impact by designing the event around the individual instead of applying the general rule of ‘lowest common denominator’ associated with Training events. Not everyone in a training session will occupy the same position on the learning curve as everyone else. Some will be low on the curve because their attention has not been captured, they may be distracted by their own thinking or others things going on in the room.
At any point in a training event attendees may be inattentive ‘off the learning curve’ and the Trainer may not have the sensory acuity to be aware of that and have the capacity to change it.
Coaching is Tailored for the Client vs. Training - akin to Mass Baptism
At best, Training provides the ability to deliver lots of information quickly. But, there again Training cannot guarantee any learning at all. Often, trainees only receive and process a tiny percentage of information that is expressed in the session. Further, at what level of individual or collective Learning is the Training focused on installing learning? By evaluating actual learning outcomes we can assess to what level is training is actually delivered? We think, and you may agree, that most of the time training addresses the lower levels in the hierarchy of what and how people learn.
You may know from personal experience that shortly after attending a training event recall can be extremely low – that is unless the training was extremely well designed and delivered. And, you know that this is often not the case.
Unfortunately, the basic recall of information and some understanding of key terms and general concepts is as far as most training delivers. This may not be the case if you are to apply the learning straight away in your job. If this is the case, you really would have a much better chance of experiencing real learning and possibly improvement in what you do. Reflect on training you have attended and ask yourself, “How often do you get the opportunity to practise the skills, ideas and concepts after you have been exposed to a Training event?”
Coaching however gives you the opportunity to apply and demonstrate real learning because it is tailored precisely for the Client and where they are currently. And that’s what it delivers. It enables the Client the opportunity to find, apply and commit to solutions to their issues. The the higher levels of learning for personal improvement remains in Coaching rather than Training.
Coaching & ‘ASK Pattern’Training tends to address knowledge rather than the skills and attitude inherent in the ASK pattern. Very few people will change their attitude as the result of attending a training module – however lengthy. However Coaching can address behaviour and attitude change very quickly.
With Coaching attitude change can be very rapid – but usually requires a process of trial and error thinking in order for it to take place. Coaching is so much better for bringing about personal change. Coaching is working 1:1 with a dedicated and experienced Coach who is 100% focused on the Client. This relationship enables the Client to practise new ways of behaving and managing in a safe.
Only the most advanced training programs, with very precisely defined processes, can stimulate a person to change their attitude
Of course, these programs do exist but as a percentage of the average course on management training, team building, leadership communication etc there will be very rarely that focus, energy and stimulation to bring about the desired change.
Does Training = Learning & Behaviour Change?
It is difficult to guarantee that anyone is actually learning just by attending a training event. To gauge real learning one has to test for recalling key points, testing for comprehension and understanding as well as applying the ideas to situations and analysing the outcome. In Coaching circles this is known as the ‘taxonomy of learning’ and different processes exist for evaluating the changing of attitudes, skills and knowledge.
Knowing that the majority of training events only focus on simple levels of learning, such as recalling facts and explaining concepts, you may consider that ‘Training’ would be replaced by other, more effective, methods to change thinking and behaviour!
In bringing about organisational change, training is a very poor substitute for real change that is best achieved by facilitating and focusing attention on Coaching key people and teams. Effective coaching only happens through a proven process of capturing learning, enabling the Client to install new thinking, and behaviours delivered by an experienced Coach.
Behaviour Change & Performance Improvement through focused Facilitation & Coaching
Coaching and Facilitation does have a much higher ‘hit rate’ in terms of learning and delivering results quicker and deeper in any business.
Coaches or Facilitators will focus more energy and take more cognisance of a learner’s individual style when working closely with their client. Trainers on the other hand may focus more on the old traditional method of telling and selling information.
Training and teaching may have a role in L&D when conveying information to a large group of people. It is a case of one size fits all. However, the problem is the individuals in the group may be on different parts of the learning curve, and they may not have a shared interest to learn to unite them. They will display very different learning styles. You have to ask, can the average trainer accommodate all those styles of the audience in training delivery?
Further, Trainers may not be aware of ‘Learning Styles’ of others and prefer, or by default, deliver in the style with which they are most comfortable – that is, their own!
Learner Centred Coaching
Structured Coaching focuses on the core behaviours and actions that an individual is comfortable to practise. With practise comes perfection.
Change & Learning in Matrix OrganisationThis approach delivers rapid returns for those who are designing a Matrix Organisation. Focused input on Coaching in how to operate in a Matrix Organisation is achieved much faster using our Leadership-Coaching Model.
Supporting and enabling people to move from traditional structures and reporting relationships to a more flexible matrix organisation requires the fluidity and flexibility that comes from focused input, thus leading and Coaching people through to create the Matrix culture.
A Matrix organisation can never be ‘trained into a business’ it has to be partially led by enthusiastic people and Coached into teams. Attending traditional Training events is a poor substitute for Coaching the requirements of Matrix organisation.
Traditional Training will not generate the expected ROI of this complex change from traditional structures to matrix management
Practise for Mastery
It is like driving a car, playing a musical instrument or enjoying a sport. When you have thoroughly practised the ‘art and science’ of whatever is your pleasure – then it becomes automatic and integrated in you.
Training often does not give the opportunity to practise for mastery, however structured Coaching does have that facility, and mastery need not take long to develop.
Influence & Presentation Facilitation
I Coach ‘one on one’ and in small groups in public speaking. It really is the No. 1 Fear for many people. Coaching people, who experience public speaking at the ‘phobic level’ of fear, it is clearly possible to turn their ability to deliver from the terrifying 80-95% on the fear scale to something approaching 3-5%.
This can only be achieved through Coaching. Rapid progress could not be achieved through a structured Training input unless group size was very small.
Although I have provided training events since the time I set up my business, I have always believed that Training is limited in development of organisational and personal change. I have opted for ‘one on one’ Coaching or facilitation either with individuals or teams as part of the ‘improvement process’.
Best Practise in Coaching & FacilitationCoaching is tailored and focused upon changing behaviour. “Until behaviour changes, nothing changes”. My focus therefore is looking upon those activities that people need to display more effectively in their work, and develop that ability until they have mastered the process.
You cannot achieve such success quickly in a training room with 12-15 people in attendance. You certainly cannot achieve it in a large auditorium where many are in attendance, and where there are competing motivations, interests and distraction for the audience.
ROI: Manage the Learning EnvironmentTo create and sustain a positive flow of ROI (Return on Investment) in development, one has to focus on diagnosing the cause of the issues, which are stopping things working the way they should for the individual.
This can only be achieved by a thorough investigation of all the components of the problem and then defining how to resolve any problem through solution centred tactics. This means working ‘one on one’ with people.
Evidence that Coaching & Facilitation Generate a Healthy ROI
We do this with change programmes focused on changes in attitude, core values and behaviours. Coaching can provide instant and lasting results. Right from the start of any 1:1 session the Coach or the Facilitator should know what is, and what is not working for their clients. ROI is instantly assessed through the simple act of assessing three things:
- Coaching leads to results – what behaviours has the Client curtailed which were holding them back?
- What has the Client identified as being their current positive behaviours and to what have they committed to continue to practise and master.
- What new behaviours has the client identified which will progress them towards their goal should they commit to apply these in their normal behaviours.
2014: the Recession & Training
Organisations really have to consider what training is costing them in comparison to the investment in Coaching that they will commit to in these difficult times, and what training is mandatory for their people. There are many disadvantages of trying to stage Training that everyone actually attends.
What is the cost of training in terms of ROI. Often, it is not assessed. What is the cost of to the business of delegates not being at work?
What impact on the learning will there be if a course designed for 12 is attended by smaller numbers than anticipated (because of call off) – how does this effect the effectiveness of the original design of the learning?
When events are postponed as is increasingly the case, what are the costs associated with re-running the event – paying the trainer for rework and restaging the event. How is ‘business as usual’ conducted with people away from the organisation.
How will work which is uncompleted because of the Training event be completed when the trainees return to work? Most organisations do not the have spare capacity to cover for course attendance by others.
Instances of Training providing Cost Effective ROI
Training is cost effective and provides a high level of ROI occur when Training in conveying basic information is instantly transferred to the intended audience and actioned. An example would be responding to ‘in bound’ calls in Contact Centres where optional menus are simple to understand when staff are updated on providing technical advice. Where information is simple to understand and can be conveyed to large groups training can satisfy that need very quickly. But, if you want lasting behaviour change and improved staff morale and commitment, Coaching will deliver more, faster, cheaper and more effectively.
Mass Baptism, Sheep Dips & Big Training Events
Unfortunately, I have witnessed what I call ‘mass baptisms’ or ‘sheep dips’ when staff are brought together in conference surroundings and a ‘Guru’ is on the main platform firing off his or her message to all and sundry. They can be very impressive, but ineffective, and what impact does that transfer of information have on performance of the people or the business?
Groups of consultants often provide this training ‘baptising’ mass audiences of 250 people+. They can get through a moderate sized business in less than a day. Don’t misunderstand me, it is a great way to get people talking about things and stimulates some excitement but does it change anything in the longer term and how can the initial ‘spark’ be sustained?
Summary on ROI Training issues vs. Leadership-Coaching
Simply stated, Coaching can be shaped to achieve very precise changes in behaviour. Coaching addresses behaviour change more effectively than Training. I believe ‘until behaviour changes nothing changes’– whether it be leadership, customer focus, matrix management or the resolution of conflict.
Consider the benefits to your organisation of adapting a radical Coaching intervention to replace some of the training. As a pilot project, it is easily possible to demonstrate the benefits and the ‘retruns’ that can accrue to your enterprise very quickly. Short focused inputs working closely with key staff in your business could instantly impact your performance as an organisation.
Using ‘Impact Studies’ based on personal progression we can create significant improvement in a short period of time without burdening the organisation with a commitment. Organisations can avoid the huge costs and time wasted associated with ‘off site’ training such as the costs of travel and Hotel accommodation and numerous logistical and scheduling issues to cover for staff attending programmes.
Coaching means ‘to make easy’ what organisations should be committing to install and implement the changes that will equip them to operate at a higher level of functioning and performance.
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