Coaching and Teaching are very closely related! In fact some instructors will often coach during teaching and vice versa. So if they are so similar how do you know which one you’re doing and when to do so? Between Coaching & Teaching-What’s the difference?
Coaching and Teaching are very closely related! In fact some instructors will often coach during teaching and vice versa. So if they’re so similar how do you know which one you’re doing and when to do so? What’s the difference?
Before we go into the differences let’s take a look at what each are.
This is a question that came up just recently & also something that I’d come across years ago when someone asked “When are they no longer the noob?”
At the time the answer someone gave was “When you don’t have to ask that question!” Being relatively new to the field at the time, it wasn’t me that gave the answer and being fair I didn’t have one, even if I was the one who was asked.
When are you no longer the apprentice?
But at some point we look back on our journeys whether they’re personal or professional and only when we reflect do we realize how far we’ve come. These journeys are slow & arduous and the progress can be so incremental that we don’t realize that we actually make progress.
So whatever your field is; When are you no longer the
apprentice? When can you call yourself the master?
When thinking about this there is no single point where
the change takes place, but your Google search history is a far better gauge of
where you’re at. It might seem abstract but keep reading.
It’s what you’re looking for.
My conclusion is that there are four key factors that
determine whether you’re an apprentice or a master.
1. When your questions change or when you ask different types of questions.
Let’s use the health and fitness industry as an example. There
are literally millions of people who have asked; “How to lose weight.”
We have to accept that this is a very generic question for the fitness industry, and an easy question that everyone at some point has asked. Most likely this is the ‘first’ question that anyone asks when they want to ‘get into shape’ whereas someone with more experience may start to ask “How to lose fat?” or “How to build Muscle” or even better “How to boost your metabolism?” In the fitness industry, trainers and instructors typically want clients who ask these questions because they are already more mature than clients who just want to ‘Get into shape.’
2. When you start to research your own answers, and having the confidence to know your research is correct.
Let keep running the fitness industry for consistency.
Whether you’re a client wanting to strip fat or boost your metabolic rate
eventually you’ll start to do your own research rather than perhaps simply
taking what your trainer gives you as gospel.
This is where you’re going to start having the ability to sift through all of the noise such as banana diets, lemon diets, soup diets, and start looking for higher quality information which will be more suited to your needs.
When you finally start to find consistent information
from independent sources you’ll have the confidence to determine that what you
have found is something that you can work with and learn from.
3. When you start helping others—you know where they’ve come from.
Give it enough time and research and you’re going to start getting results. Nothing is going to attract attention like progress, and once you start to make progress people around you will likely want to know how ‘you got into shape’
At this point in your experience, you’ll have the ability to help & educate others but also to know what question to ask when you start to provide guidance.
The biggest take away to know about here is that the advice and guidance you’re going to give is already going to be more advanced than what you would have searched for when you started ‘your‘ journey.
This means that you are more advanced and skilled than what people are typically looking for.
4. When the questions you ask, haven’t been asked. You can’t find your answers any longer, and you are doing new things.
The final step in knowing that you’re no longer the apprentice is when you begin to look for answers that are not readily available or when you start doing your own research & experiments.
Remember you started your journey with ‘How to lose weight’ and you may have found information about cutting calories.
As an advanced self-taught fitness expert you’re going to be looking for information in the fields of ‘Insulin Manipulation’ or ‘Cortisol reduction’ . . . the list of advanced key word searches is endless which will likely see you looking through research papers on page 2 of Google or beyond rather than Instagram posts.
So when are you no longer the apprentice?
From experience (regardless of the industry) I can say that it comes down to these four areas which all relate to the questions that you ask, and what you look for in your field, and not just about how long you have been doing something for.
After all you can cut calories for years but that doesn’t mean you’re an expert!
People are not equal! It may seem incorrect to say but we’re not. Adding to that all clients are also … not equal! Clients learn in different ways, and also have different motivations which have drastic impacts on their individual outcomes.
However in this case—client equality and their motivations really don’t matter, because in this post we’re really looking at when most learning occurs, not how!
Not only do you want to deliver an excellent teaching product, you want your clients to recommend you to others. Makes sense right?
So When do people learn?
So having pointed out the obvious, let’s go a little deeper, because one thing that we need to be aware of here is that teaching and learning are two very different things.
“Teaching” is done by an “Instructor”. “Learning” is done by the “Client!”
So as an Instructor how are you going to achieve the most potent learning experience for your client?
Is your client going to learn during the ‘teaching’ or are they going to learn later when they ‘revise’ previously delivered material? Wherever they will learn is going to dictate how you create your lesson or course!
I’ll give you the answer at the end of this post and the truth is shocking!
On many courses that I have attended throughout my working life, I have been taught one subject, revised and then assessed the next day to prove competence. As an instructor you’re going to face the same challenge. You will need to teach and have a client either prove competence with little to no application or be able to apply those skills later.
Time is the biggest restriction you can have.
The situation reverses as a manager or an educator within an organization. You can spend far more time teaching and seemingly not see competence in the person being taught.
So … what is more effective? Teaching lessons? Revision lessons? When do clients finally learn?
Unfortunately the answer isn’t within either of the major lesson types above. Simply speaking teaching lessons have to be delivered so that new skills can be taught. Revision lessons are there to re-enforce prior learning.
Between the two however, revision is more often than not more effective at developing the skill level of a trainee or a client.
Why? Depending on how material is delivered the audience will forget up to 95% of taught content. (Makes you wonder how we learn anything) However revision lessons not only re-engage with the remembered material but also trigger the activation of ‘forgotten’ material from previously.
Especially if the revision is practical the information retention can be as high as 75% . . . a far cry from 5%.
So using the logic and the stats from above, revision lessons are the way to go! Absolutely however you cannot revise a subject that has not been taught!
Experience through application is where your client will learn the most.
So our answer now looks pretty clear. Quickly teach a subject with high audience engagement and get straight into revising the subject material. This is how we attain maximum learning . . . right?
The Shocking Truth.
When it comes to designing a course there really isn’t a specific formula that you can use to achieve a maximum outcome. All subjects are different and need a differing approach.
But the real shock here is that your audience will not learn the most from you during either teaching or revision. Your client will learn the most about a subject on their own long after the teaching has been done.
When a client enters or is forced to enter a period of application without support, they will learn the most at the fastest rate. It’s during the time of application that a client will learn >100% of what you would have been capable of teaching. They will learn things through experience that you may not have had as part of your training itself.
An unfortunate truth to being an instructor is that you cannot achieve proficiency in your client. You can only give the knowledge for a client to become competent in a skill but you cannot give them experience. Experience through application is where your client will learn the most. Our job as instructors is to prepare them to be independent.
Previously we looked at presenting from experience, now we’re going to see how to make sure we can Control a training presentation from the planning stage.
But we can’t always just go from experience, or we can’t always have the audience drive the training during discovery. Sometimes when it comes to new teaching we need to bring something more than ourselves to the class.
Sometimes there are concepts that are too complex to simply ‘talk’ about, or explain through with the use of a metaphor.
These more complex ideas need more than words, and often require the use of pictures, or other graphics or some other form of training aid.
Now imagine that you have a detailed picture, simple graphics or some other appropriate representation of a concept. Is the representation enough to explain itself? More often that not, it won’t. If they did, an instructor wouldn’t be needed.
Enter . . . the Queue.
The incomplete prompting point which leads to further expansion.
These typically find the most use, when more than a few points need to be remembered in careful sequential structure, or when lots of small points need to be raised. Each point is easy to discuss but queues are used to maintain structure and sequence during training rather than be useful in their own right. The major point to be careful off from experience is to make sure that each queue has a stop point.
What is a stop point? This is the final piece of information that ‘completes’ that queue, before you look to the next queue.
Why do we need the stop point? Sometimes a queue can not only remind of where you are, but can lead to a flowing avalanche of information. Without a stop point to remind yourself ‘where to stop’ you can accidentally achieve flow and derail your entire presentation by getting out of synchronisation with your training aids. I’ve had this happen and the results are spectacularly bad!
There are also times when your teaching subject is naturally going to raise a lot of questions from your audience.
Detours & Diversions; The forks in the road.
Some subjects especially ‘conditional’ or ‘grey’ matter can cause your audience to spend more time thinking about asking branching questions or ‘detours’ rather than focus on the subject being taught.
These are exactly what they sound like; detours that naturally want to take training away from the pre-determined lesson plan.
When you deliver ‘grey’ or ‘conditional’ matter organically with high audience engagement, then detours are relatively easy to handle. The audience can ask an expected question and you can answer it quickly or it can be postponed to another time when it will be covered in more depth.
Control a training presentation is what its all about.
However there are times when a question is so obvious that it has to be handled either before the audience has a chance to ask it and take up time with discussion or;
An answer needs to be on standby as you attempt to skirt around the question in the hope of saving your time for the training itself. Either way detours are questions that you will need to prepare for with some subject matter.
In the next and final installment we look at how to and when to use scripting for presentation preparation
More often than not there is more than one way to get something done. Preparing a training presentation is no different.
I start with the lesson plan so that I know what is going to be covered. Then it’s time to think about the audience and where I’m going to give the training. Finally then I’ll be able to think about what I’m going to put in front of the people I’m teaching.
It’s a flow. A process! If one thing changes during planning then so does the final product, and training is a product.
One subject, can be delivered numerous different ways to achieve slightly different outcomes. Whether it be to teach for the first time, revise, or to discover amongst an audience who already have some form of subject awareness.
Go with the Flow
Now, there are going to be times when you’ll be able to deliver your training without any formal presentation. These sessions are great, because they demands flow & presence while being fluid enough to adapt to your audience in real time.
These are what I like to call the ‘organic’ presentation,or ‘organic’ teaching. These also can come across like you’re; making it up as you go, because in effect during the delivery of the training, that’s what it looks like is happening.
However from a preparation point of view, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact when training like this comes off so seamlessly to make it appear like you’re making it up as you go, then that’s the ultimate compliment, especially when your audience comes away with having learn’t the training objectives.
But thinking that an instructor is making it up as they go is as wrong as you can be. These lessons are not just prepared or rehearsed, but the subject matter is so well known that only a seasoned subject matter expert in the material can even truly attempt to deliver a training in this manner often after having delivered these individual lessons previously.
So just do it from experience!
So if these lessons require so much skill and can only be done by true ‘subject matter experts’ then surely the ‘organic’ design and delivery are the way to go right?
Hold on for a second before you pass that conclusion. A delivery style, just like a lesson type and all of the other variables that go into teaching are part of a great big toolkit to the instructor. Organic preparation and delivery is all good, but its only a single method and it has weaknesses.
So what are they?
Organic approaches naturally tend to be geared toward a higher ‘caliber’ of trainee. How so?
Without a presentation and perhaps only few training aids, organically delivered lessons which are delivered almost entirely from experience can come out with great depth of information and they can be delivered too quickly. Without self-control and a high degree of audience engagement instructors can go too far too quickly and leave the audience behind.
These teaching lessons can also sometimes begin to blur the lines between teaching and coaching, and when an instructor asks too many questions too quickly the student can definitely become saturated.
In the next installment we look at how to prepare for distracting questions