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Coaching vs Training: Clearing the Fog and Maximizing Potential

Coaching vs training vs mentoring

Coaching vs Training: Clearing the Fog and Maximizing Potential

In the age of LinkedIn learning and TED Talks, two words seem to hover around: “Coaching” and “Training.” They’re not siblings, but maybe distant cousins. Let’s delve deeper into the three strategies.

Coaching vs. Training vs. Mentoring: Decoding the Jargon

  • Coaching: A coach is your guide by the side, nudging you to tap into your wisdom. Their mission? Making sure you shine brighter.
  • Training is structured and formal, teaching you new skills and knowledge. Like a recipe you’d follow when trying a new dish Like a recipe you’d follow when trying a new dish.
  • Mentoring: Mentors use their experience to show you their different paths.

The Backbone: Understanding Origins of Training and Coaching

Both coaching and training have ancient roots. Training has roots in ancient times and teaches crafts and survival skills. Coaching dates back to medieval times. It involves guiding someone toward their desired goal.

Understanding Coaching

Coaching is when a coach helps a client one-on-one to achieve their goals. The coach asks questions, gives feedback, and helps the client make a plan to reach their goals.

Coaching is typically used to help people with their personal or professional development. Here is one example. A coach can assist with career goals, communication skills, and time management.

Understanding Mentoring

Mentoring is when a mentor shares their knowledge and experience with a mentee. A mentor can help a mentee learn new skills, develop their career, or navigate challenges in life.

Mentoring is typically used to help people with their professional development. For example, a mentor can help someone get a job, learn a skill, or advance their career.

Understanding Training

Training is a more structured process than coaching or mentoring. It typically involves a group of people learning new skills or knowledge from a trainer.

Training can teach people new skills, such as how to use a new software program or perform a new job task. You can also use it to teach people about new concepts. For example, managing finances or improving communication skills.

The Main Event: Differences Between Coaching and Training

See the table below for a comprehensive training, coaching, and mentoring comparison. 

Difference of coaching vs training vs mentoring table format

Difference between Training and Coaching and Mentoring

Tools of the Trade that Goes Beyond Learning

  • Coaching Tools: Open-ended questions, 360-degree feedback, goal setting, and reflective exercises.
  • Training Tools: Manuals, simulations, role-playing, and evaluations.
  • Mentoring Tools: Listening actively, sharing personal experiences, setting milestones, and mutual goal planning.

Real-life examples of Training, Coaching and Mentoring

We have used coaching and training to achieve specific goals. Here are some examples:


  • A sales coach helps salespeople improve at closing deals by giving feedback on calls, understanding customers, and setting goals.
  • A leadership coach helps managers improve by giving feedback, setting goals, and providing tools.
  • A life coach helps people achieve their goals by planning and overcoming challenges.


  • A mentor in the tech industry helps a young engineer by giving advice, sharing what they know, and making connections.
  • A nonprofit mentor helps new executive directors by sharing experience and giving advice. They also help build relationships with other nonprofit leaders.
  • A mentor in the arts helps a young artist improve their skills and career. The mentor gives feedback on their work. They also help them exhibit their work and connect them with others in the field.


  • The company trains its employees on a new software program. They learn how the program works, practice using it and receive support if necessary.
  • The government agency trains employees on new regulations by giving them information, practice, and support.
  • The hospital trains its staff to improve patient care. They learn new medical procedures and practice them. If they have questions or problems, they receive support.

These are just a few examples of how coaching and training can achieve specific goals. The specific goals achieved through coaching and training will vary depending on the individual or organization. However, coaching and training can be valuable tools for helping people reach their full potential.

Is Coaching More Effective Than Training?

While training equips you with the basics, coaching elevates your game, making sure you don’t just use the tools but master them. Is one more important than the other? Think of them as a dynamic duo. Training lays the foundation, and coaching builds the mansion. The real magic happens when they join forces!

Blurring the Lines: When Training Meets Coaching

The modern workforce often sees a blend. Trainers are using coaching techniques to improve retention. Coaches provide training materials to reinforce concepts.

In the past, coaching and training were considered separate methods for professional development. However, there has been a growing trend of blending coaching and training in recent years. This is due to several factors, including the increasing complexity of work, the need for lifelong learning, and the desire for more personalized development experiences. And also, due to the technological advancements which make anything possible.

There are many ways that coaching and training can be blended. One way is for trainers to incorporate coaching techniques into their training sessions. This could involve using open-ended questions, providing feedback, and helping participants to set goals.

Coaches can give training materials to clients to combine coaching and training. Clients can learn new skills or knowledge to use in their coaching sessions.

The Benefits of Blending coaching sessions and training include the following:

  • Coaching can make learning more personal by focusing on individual needs and goals. Participants can learn at their own pace and focus on specific topics.
  • Coaching improves retention. Participants get to practice skills and knowledge in a safe environment. Training can also help improve retention. Participants receive clear instructions that are easy to understand.
  • Coaching helps people stay motivated. It gives support and encouragement to help them reach their goals. Training can boost motivation by giving participants tangible results, like a completion certificate.

Can You Have It Both for Overall Development?

Are you merging the two? It’s like having your cake and eating it too. It amplifies employee confidence, fosters professionalism, and ensures mastery.

At Leap2Growth Coaching, you can learn in a structured way. Coaching is more personal and hands-on. It is this balance that assures more comprehensive skills development. With a coach by their side, employees feel supported. The coach guides them through challenges and helps them overcome obstacles.

  • Coaching helps identify strengths and weaknesses, leading to a more focused training strategy.
  • Coaching and training blend to address hard and soft skills for a well-rounded employee.
  • Coaching empowers employees to take ownership and be accountable for their career development.

In sum, merging accelerates skill acquisition and boosts morale, employee retention, and overall organizational success. 


Continuous feedback is vital. Training provides immediate feedback on skill acquisition. Coaching offers insights over time, tracking personal growth.

Personalized Approach

In training, one-size-doesn’t-fit-all. The combined benefits of coaching allow for a more personalized approach to learning. A tailored process can lead to increased engagement and better results.

Lifelong Learning

Mindset Promoting a culture of continuous learning keeps your employees engaged, motivated, and ready to adapt. Merging coaching with training emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning.

The Investment Angle

Businesses spending on both see tangible ROI. Better-trained employees make fewer mistakes, and coached employees showcase innovation and leadership.

So, Are You Game?

Ready to leap into the future of professional development? Dive deep, whether it’s training’s structured waters or the uncharted depths of coaching. 

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Book a free, no-strings-attached discovery call. Unleash your potential, and share a chuckle or two along the way.

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