What is the Difference Between “Development” and “Training?”

Clients often use the words “development” and “training” interchangeably – and yet there are important distinctions between the two words. In essence, training has a purpose – for an audience to learn specific content in a formal event. Development also has a unique purpose – for participants to actively discover and apply specific concepts and change behavior long-term.


Development is a process which allows individuals to learn and apply their learning so that they grow their skills, confidence, and expertise. It can be made up of a combination of formal and informal training, activities, and opportunities that include setting and achieving goals. All content is directly aligned with clear learning objectives, is designed collaboratively, and is customized.


A stand alone event or series of events, courses, or seminars on individual learning topics. One topic is not necessarily linked to the next. It is typically a one-time “hit” of learning, created with the learner being a passive participant listener, and “out of the box” without customization.

What is the Difference Between “Coaching”
and “Consulting?”

And clients often wonder, how exactly is “coaching” different from “consulting?” Or they have worked with consultants before, and are gun shy about doing so again. The good news: Coaching is not consulting! An exceptional coaching engagement is unique from other engagements in many ways…

Leadership training focuses on sharing and learning. Leadership development requires behavior change.

As you consider your own needs, ask these questions:

  • Does your audience need to interact daily together, make decisions together, and help make the organization successful long-term?
  • What is your business driver? What MUST be different in the future?
  • What would make this engagement exceptional? What needs to be included? Excluded?
  • How much time and resources are you interested in dedicating to ensure that your leaders are as effective as possible?
  • Do you struggle with a mix of leaders (young/older, more senior/new, different styles) who often find themselves challenged to work together?
  • Will your team/leader be a participant or a prisoner?