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Coaching vs. Training

Sexual assault program managers are drawn to the coaching model of supervision because it is in line with the values we have in our field. The coaching approach is attractive because:

  • it is strengths-based
  • it is based on respect for staff members
  • it encourages professional growth and development

When we coach, we listen more than we talk, we facilitate rather than control, and we work with staff members to come up with solutions that are a good fit for them.

However, there are times when training, rather than coaching, is needed:

  • during orientation, when staff members need to learn the basics
  • when introducing a new procedure or approach
  • when the majority of staff members are not performing well with regard to a specific issue

Coaching is an effective approach to supervision that can yield great results, but it is not a substitute for appropriate training.


Reviewed: April 7th, 2016