“What’s the difference between training and coaching?” I asked.
Melanie was a new manager. “I’ve been to training,” she replied. “It’s scheduled, it has a curriculum, it’s disciplined. Someone thought through the sequence of learning, identified specific skills.”
“And, when you emerged from the training program, certificate of completion in hand, did that make you a high performer?”
“That’s was my impression,” Melanie said. “But, that impression turned out to be wrong. The training gave me insight into the way we do things around here, but I was certainly not a high performer.”
“You seem to be comfortable in what you are doing now,” I nodded. “That wasn’t the result of the training?”
“Not hardly. I learned, possessed some technical knowledge about our methods and process, but I was very much a newbie.”
“Technical knowledge, but not competence? On the other hand, you appear competent now. What happened?”
“Practice,” Melanie smiled. “Technical knowledge will only get you so far. Competence requires taking those first steps, hands on, then practice, lots of practice.”