Why You’re Overlooking The Obvious: You Need Coaches, Not Teachers

April 1, 2021

Let’s start by answering a simple question: What is the goal of Talent Development?

At its core, Talent Development should be driving results that ripple throughout the organization. 

In practice, however, things are not so simple. While looking for ways to develop employees across all levels of the organization, many teams are struggling to find scalable solutions that drive business impact. Unfortunately, many scalable solutions are not the same solutions that drive impact and vice versa. 

That being said, two dueling approaches appear to be leading the charge in Talent Development at scale: Teaching and Coaching. They might sound similar, but they couldn’t be more different in approach and expected results. So, what separates these two strategies?

Teaching: Learning And Retaining

Many organizations are opting for scalable learning solutions that rely on classroom-stylized content for employees to self-teach. No, you didn’t read us wrong here — the phrase is self-teach, because the instructor will likely rattle off a bunch of best practices that employees won’t know how to incorporate into the flow of work, so your employees have to teach themselves if either of you want any results. And essentially, there’s just one very big, no-good, really unpleasant problem with that:

Classroom learning is not translating to impact.

And yes, that includes shorter digital classroom training.

It’s easy to think the shortcoming would be in course design. However, as you dig deeper, you’ll realize that it has less to do with course design and more to do with the inherent design of classroom learning. 

Teaching sees the Teacher as the focal point of its methodology, and as a result, learners must adapt behavior to fit the Teacher’s style. The outcome of learning from Teachers is also less than ideal in a business setting because Teaching relies on how much content one person can retain. We truly doubt that the best trait of your firm’s employees is their ability to memorize best practices. Unless you’re on the team writing those Snapple Facts for Snapple Caps — you can keep up that good work.

While it’s easy to scale, Teaching isn’t oriented to make a transformative impact.

Let’s call it how it is. Classroom learning (even if digital and hence shorter) isn’t focused on developing employees. And by the way, classroom information has a 90% chance of being forgotten once your employees are a month removed from the class itself.

Just to be clear, we’re not dissing Teaching altogether. There’s a time and place for Teaching, and when it comes to skills that allow us to thrive in digital and inclusive workplaces, Teaching just isn’t the right fit.  

Now, what about coaching?

Coaching: Empowering Results

For starters, the fact that we have Executive Coaches and not Executive Teachers should say a good deal. Have you ever thought about why this is? 

Executives want results, and ASAP. The goal of Coaching is finding ways to move the needle, and then implementing strategies that enable the Coachee (or employee — tomato / tomaaatoe) to succeed. This is the core principle of what makes Coaching a great vehicle for driving results.

That principle is also what makes Group Coaching so effective. When an Executive Coach works with a small group, the focus of the session shifts from individual-centric to business-centric. When a group of individuals gets to be in the same (virtual) room and develop together, not only is the process fun, but the results are awesome.

Well, the results are awesome because they’re measurable in terms of business impact. It’s not a multiple-choice test, but instead, the day-to-day behavioral changes in Coachees that get measured. 


Coaching and Teaching are not one in the same, people. One of them is transactional and the other is Transformational. If you didn’t know which is which by now, Coaching is the Transformational one — and if that didn’t come across clearly, we probably need to re-write this piece!

If you’re interested in results-driven Talent Development at scale, keep looking into HumanQ. Our proprietary Coaching platform and methodology are designed to unlock human potential, and we’re pretty damn good at it. Like 84 good at it — that’s our incredibly high Net Promoter Score by the way. If this is something you find interesting, definitely reach out!

HumanQ | Unlocking Human Potential

Contact HumanQ : info@humanq.com

Website: www.humanq.com

HumanQ is a live video platform for Group Coaching designed to create psychologically safe spaces that build engagement, connection, and impact at every level of an organization. To date, HumanQ has delivered to over 73 countries worldwide leveraging a global expert network of coaches to unlock human potential. For more information on the impact of group coaching with HumanQ contact us at info@humanq.com

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