Although similar in that they both aim to develop employees, business coaching and training courses undertake this task in differing ways. Coaching and mentoring works with an individual, meaning each session will be different, whereas a training course is likely to be extremely similar each time.
A training course will have a set syllabus of information which needs to be taught, especially if it is an accredited course where a rigid syllabus needs to be followed. The people who attend are likely to have similar roles, and those training courses which are provided on an in-house basis will have attendees who are all from the same company. This all means that the content and delivery of the course will hardly vary each time it is run. Even if certain parts are not relevant to a person in attendance, they will still have to sit and listen, which will not be maximising their time.
In contrast, business coaching sessions are typically performed on a one-on-one basis. The discussions will be tailored to the person's specific circumstances and the exact issues which they are encountering and struggling with at work, as well as defining the specific problems affecting the individual. The diverse range of people, job roles and problems means that no two business coaching encounters are ever the same and are as individual as the people themselves. This is actually one of the great appeals in becoming a business coach, as this diversity and variation each time prevents boredom and tedium creeping in as it can do with most careers.
Because of the individual and one-to-one nature of a coaching session, the rapport between the person and the coach is extremely important, and is why the coach needs to be highly skilled in conducting the meetings in a tone and manner which gets the most commitment from the person receiving the coaching. This is a skill which separates the great business coaches from the average ones, and although much can be learned on business coaching courses, it will primarily come from experience in assisting a varied range of people and problems.
Managers who provide coaching to their employees need to be aware that they are all unique individuals who will be motivated and inspired by different things. For example giving extra responsibility to some people will increase their motivation as they feel they are trusted more, others will simply see it as more work they have to do and become less motivated. Just like a coaching session, the individual needs, desires, characteristics and determination to succeed/progress will all need to be taken into consideration in order to conduct an effective coaching programme.