Russell Ward CEO
A wealth of ideas can be encompassed in a single word, and the training versus development debate is no exception. It may seem insignificant but if we break down the meanings behind each word then the distinctions become far clearer.
Let’s start with nitty-gritty of it. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘training’ as ‘the action of teaching a particular skill or type of behaviour’. This sort of activity could refer to a physiotherapy appointment, a horse-riding lesson, or a university lecture; any process in which one person or group of people is being instructed by another.
Now let’s look at the word ‘development’, because this is defined quite differently, as ‘a specified state of growth or advancement’. Where the notion of ‘training’ implies an action, often a single, short-term event; ‘development’ indicates a process, an ongoing and tangible change.
So development suggests longevity, what else? Well, in training the emphasis is on the teacher as an instructor. They are the individual leading the process. In development it is the student who is the primary focus. They are the one advancing; the one being changed. Development is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s a personal journey, something that’s different for each individual.
Delegate engagement is at the heart of effective coaching. And with this in mind, development is a process that must involve everyone. Each person must be motivated to do more than sit quietly and be lectured at for a few hours. They must be willing to cultivate a new attitude and a different perception, and thus be part of the process rather than a passive observer.
At Silent Edge we believe that sales development is not just a day, it’s a journey. Benjamin Franklin famously once said that “without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning”. We couldn’t agree more. It’s not enough to just train or be trained. For real change to take place we have to be continually growing; always evolving, always reaching that little bit higher.
So what’s in a word? Well, everything that isn’t. Everything that training is not, development is: longevity, individualisation, continuity, engagement; and, what’s more, real change.