Training, Coaching and Consulting For You - Your Business and Your Company - How to Choose
We always hear about training, counseling, coaching, consultancy and so on. Some of us know more or less what it is, but it's not always clear what we mean when we talk about one or the other, and even when it is, it's not always certain we know when to ask for one or the other. First of all, training and workforce group fit different functions and needs, as different are their programs and their philosophies.

Let's start from training. Whenever we talk about training we mean the creation and development of practical skills, principles and tools. Training is about providing a high level background to be used when needed. The referring figures are the trainer (sometimes known as coach, teacher, counselor and so on) and the learner (or trainee). Consultancy is differently based. Consulting is a specific intervention in order to face and/or solve an incidental fact such as developing new working strategies, manage and/or correct low performance results, dysfunctional or conflictual situations. The referring figures here are the consultant (adviser, counselor) and the client (customer, coachee ecc.)

Another essential difference is the time. Consulting is generally required when something unwanted occurs, whilst training generates skills, tools and expertise to be used foe every suitable occasion. It is therefore clear both training and consulting may deal with the same topics, as they often do. The premises which lead to choose one or the other are, though, quite different.

As an example, let's take a person who decides to stop smoking. He/she could choose either training or coaching. The final choice depends on the different premises and approaches chosen at the base of the decision. If, besides quitting, he/she is interested in acquiring specific skills that may help considering the different sides of the problem, the choice will almost certainly fall on training. If, on the other hand, what he/she wants is simply stop smoking and rely on an expert guide's constant help and monitoring, consulting or coaching will be the best option.

These different assumptions are even more manifest in business. Whenever a company faces an impasse, an organizational, communicative or managerial program which obstructs the regular course of business, has to negotiate something important or needs to hire new qualified staff, the most likely choice will be to ask for a consultancy, in order to clear whichever obstacles which stop the fulfillment of the goal.

If the same company thinks it has lost its corporate vision, needs to structure the various groups in the best possible way and rule their dynamics accordingly, needs to train its sale staff and more, the best choice will fall upon training. As we previously said, a training provides all the tools, skills to face a situation in the best possible way. Unlike what happens with consulting, it is not necessary such things are already occurring. Training is actually the best way to avoid such things to happen in the future.

If consulting covers the use of the resources provided by the consultant to the client for something in progress, training transfers the same contents and the same resources in order for the learner to be able to act as a consultant when such things happen. This is true for both personal and business context. Only context changes; the premises are exactly the same.

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