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Facilitation, Coaching, & Training

What do you need to learn?  

What is the difference between facilitation, coaching, and training?

"Training" is typically taking course material and teaching it in a more standard educator's role. This can be lecture or discussion or may even include role-playing.

"Facilitation" and "coaching," however, have the added dimension of behavior assessment and behavior change. Achieving objectives, rather than simply establishing comprehension, is the primary focus of facilitation and coaching.

The facilitator/coach recognizes that individuals in today's organizations possess a combination of abilities, such as leadership (long-term strategic style) and management (more immediate style of planning and implementing plans). 

The point is that TASKS MUST BE COMPLETED, regardless of whether one's current emphasis is more related to his/her leadership skills or to management skills. 

To complete something, one must overcome obstacles, and sometimes these obstacles are self created.

A good facilitator/coach, whether working one-on-one with a person or in a group situation, is able to help a person focus on achieving completion of a task (the positives) which means eliminating the obstacles (the negatives). 

A good facilitator/coach concentrates on individual skills development and on helping one to manage dysfunctional behavior. 

While the individuals are important, they do not exist alone. Today's companies are viewing facilitation as a core competency. Facilitation is central to directing the business as well as insuring that employee's offer the highest quality service to clients.

The facilitator's task is to help individuals, which inherently helps the company.  This requires dealing head on with attitudes, behaviors, and a business or company climate that may be etched in the stone of the last century. 

Obstacles and issues must be addressed rather than ignored and a competent facilitator/coach is skilled in calmly and rationally behaving as an anchor so that individuals develop the strength and insight to overcome obstacles. 

It may be necessary for the facilitator/coach to design a program that pushes individuals forward and doesn't let them return to the comfort of the old ways.  While this may appear, on the surface, to be intimidating (perhaps even terrifying for some), the confidence, new skills, and attitudes that are built into the individual make the process worthwhile.

The mark of an excellent facilitator/coach is his/her ability to let the participants discover the issues themselves rather than being told what they appear to be. When participants make the discoveries, they take ownership of the issues and, therefore, recognize they have the power to make changes.

One of the greatest qualities of a bright and capable facilitator/coach is his/her ability to let others find their own answers.

A method often used, and usually with success,  is "structured exercise." By giving participants a short time in which to come up with new solutions, individuals are challenged to discover their own creativity and problem solving abilities.   

Whether using discussions, structured exercises, role-playing, games, or whatever technique, it is vital that today's institutions have facilitators and coaches on hand to help develop skills of the individuals who make up the learning environment. In other words, teachers are developing these next steps so that lessons are far more interactive than in the past. 

Copyright 2002-2017 Lee Gabor All Rights Reserved