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Training vs Coaching

Lost between choosing coaching or training programs? Which ones are right for your team?

"The average ROI of coaching in the workplace is 700%." – PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Learning and development (L&D) teams organize both training and coaching programs. Both are essential to achieving optimal employee performance for your organization. Both are part of a well-rounded L&D program that HR managers should allocate budget towards. However, training doesn't address long term behavior while coaching isn't best for teaching hard skills.

Let's define training and coaching

A definition of each:

  • Training: facilitating sharing of knowledge and skills through discussions, group activities or presentations. The topic is chosen by the L&D departments.

  • Coaching: supporting learners 1-on-1 to arrive at their own conclusions and develop their own action steps. The topic is chosen by the learner. Coaches listen, question and challenge..

Thus, training is often focused on fundamental hard skills. Coaching, on the other hand, addresses soft skills (and everything else). Both hard and soft skills are essential for people to achieve maximum performance.

The table below summarizes the key differences between training and coaching:



  • Non-recurring

  • One size fits all

  • Lower accountability or followup

  • Learning directed by corporate

  • Focuses on teaching hard skills

  • Facilitates competence development

  • ​Ongoing

  • Personalized

  • Higher accountability and follow up

  • Learning directed by individual

  • Focuses on soft skills to improve behavior, performance and outcomes

  • Facilitates better critical thinking, decision making, self-awareness

Training or Coaching: Which should you choose?

Now that you know the difference between training and coaching, you can then decide which learning path is best for your organization.

  • Choose Training if you need to provide knowledge of concepts, frameworks, and know-how.

  • Choose Coaching to provide on-the-job application and support of that knowledge to drive behavior change.

Learn more about Guided coaching programs today.

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