I’ve heard it, and I’ve repeated it: training is “push,” learning is “pull.” Training is something you do to someone. Learning is something someone does by choice, often self-directed. Sometimes, learning is stimulated by training, yet training is increasingly being seen as inherently bad. Is that fair?
Training is the act of teaching a person a particular skill or type of behavior. Organizations definitely need skilled employees who exhibit specific behaviors. Training, then, seems an obvious solution to meet this business need.
Unfortunately, a lot of training is pushed out to check “training” off some task list and without thinking much about the trainee. The perspective is that of the organization or, too often, the person responsible for developing the training. Then it’s put into an electronic form and labeled “e-learning.” Add a discussion group and now it’s “blended learning.” Broadcast the training: “distance learning.” But calling it learning doesn’t make it so. It’s still bad training.
I lead classes in public speaking and crafting key messages for those who interact with busy executives. I help students gain or improve their skills and behaviors. It fits the definition of training to a tee, but I don’t think of myself as a trainer or even a teacher. I consider myself a facilitator of learning. I challenge students to learn from one another and from their shared experiences. Good training stimulates learning and develops or improves skills. If you want to design good training, take the learner’s perspective.
Thanks for reading! @tomspiglanin
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