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Teaching / Training / Coaching / Mentoring

The objective of all teaching, training, coaching and mentoring is for others to learn.  Something is learned if it can be used effectively to attain a desired end.


The classic school technique of “being taught” is one of the worst ways to learn anything. Teaching is imparting information, knowledge or “intellectual know how” into the mind.  There is no behavioral component.  It is “talking information”.  This is much of what most colleges call education; but  education it is not.  Typical university learning is some form of passing information from the book or the professor, to the student.  And the student has “learned” when he is successfully able to puke this information back to the professor, on a “test”.  In most schools, you have learned when you pass the test; which unfortunately becomes the “desired end”.  This form of learning is problematic from two standpoints.  First, taking and passing a test is a terrible “desired end”; second the learning, all too often, stops there. 

The Association of Research Libraries in Washingon, D.C. supported this assertion with the following “numbers” published in 1996. People in a learning situation retain:

•  10% of what they read

•  20% of what they hear

•  30% of what they see and hear

•  70% of what they talk over with others

•  80% of what they use and do in real life

•  90% of what they teach someone else to do

These “numbers” make it clear that being taught is not a very effective way of learning, but that teaching others is very efficient. (Ackoff, Differences That Make a Difference, Triarchy Press, 2010)


For these reasons:

  • We minimize classroom training and make the maximum effort to make the delivery of training effective, even at the expense of making it inefficient.

  • Most training should come one-on-one from your direct supervisory, at the gemba.

  • Most training should occur in real-time and Just In Time



Is teaching where the objective is behavior modification.  When people are “trained”  there are specific “things”, behavioral in nature, they can now do.  The specific “things” are called skills or abilities.  One of those abilities may be he management ability to make decisions

  1. When we do behavioral training and we use the mantra

    • “I do,

    • We do,

    • You do,

    • You teach”. 

  2. When we train management on decision making we use the mantra,

    • “I show,

    • We confer,

    • You do,

    • They do”.

Training, that is behavior change,  is the key method to changing the culture, so your employees and hence your company can behave its way into “wanting to become” a better money-making machine and a more secure work environment and the supplier or choice to your customers. The end result of good training is multi-facetted but it also will naturally include improved leadership (or said another way, it is impossible to lead in an area you cannot understand)


Coaching is a subset of training, it too is behavioral based and the principles are the same.  However, the nuance of coaching lies in the application of the training delivered.  First, it is generally applied to a small group of people, frequently just one person.  Second, it is normally very narrow in nature.  Third it often applies to personal change, versus group change and can also include both technical and emotional growth of the student.  For example, all managers are given management training.  However, one or a small group may need additional training in “how to properly challenge your employees” or “how to leverage your Leader Standard Work”.


Primary coaching tools used are observation, questioning, stretch goal setting (yet assuring a high degree of success as the student repeats the PDCA cycle), feedback and technical support.  The Coach’s job is to keep the student on a path of success and to sustain a high degree of confidence as he/she progresses toward the personal growth target.

The objective for the student and our training/coaching mantra is

  • “Growing competence

  • With ever growing confidence”.

Continue to  Mentoring

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