Comparing Development and Training

in Development

Two vital parts of self improvement and employee improvement are development and training. It is not uncommon to assume the two are one in the same, but knowing the distinction between the two can be essential in effectively accomplishing your goals.

Training is focusing on and fixing a specific issue. This short term approach zeros in on a specific topic and ensures that everyone is "trained" on dealing with the issue. Effective training may involve topics such as Disaster Management, phone etiquette or proper report writing. Trainings often answer the question "...what happens if?" Having a team of people that are all on the same page when it comes to standard operating procedures is priceless.

Development, on the other hand, takes on a more global approach. Successful development can create a stimulating environment and positive, forward-focused culture. Development often addresses the "how" of more widespread situations. In the event of a disaster, how would you handle this situation? While training would involve tasks laid out to accomplish the goal, development teaches us how to handle the event as a whole. How should one best handle a situation?

In order to effectively prepare for development, one thing is certain - it takes time. While trainings can be a one time event, development is an ongoing process of improving leadership in an organization. In other words, development sharpens the skills of each person so that they are able to handle different situations that are not well defined. It takes practice to figure out who you are and how you handle certain situations. It also takes experience to learn from what happened so that improvement can be made when the next situation arises. Both training and development have their own place and their own merits.

If the two processes are different, wouldn't it make sense to have a facilitator that is tailored to carrying out each job? By the nature of training, it requires detail oriented work that can be communicated concisely to their audience. Development requires a different set of skills. Someone who uses developmental strategies needs to be focused on the big picture. Development prepares and coaches people on how to act when the unknown happens.

Which is right for you or your company? Both. The key to understanding the differences helps you the approach each from a realistic angle and make the most of each development and training experience.

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Thomas Raney has 1 articles online

About the author: Thomas Raney is the owner the leadership development company, Ascension Advocates, Inc. He has over 15 years of experience working with people and teams in creating enjoyable, healthy and productive work environments. Visit me at

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Comparing Development and Training

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This article was published on 2010/03/30