Which is best? Expo Training, Mentoring or Coaching?
440 words | 2 mins read
Which is best for you? Expo training, mentoring or coaching?
There are subtle differences between the interactions of training, coaching, teaching and mentoring that can produce drastically different outcomes. Just as it is important to have a variety of leadership styles, if you’re a manager or business owner you must also be comfortable switching between the development styles that suit you and your business best.
Training – to help a person master specific skills in a direct (or “hands on”) interaction, use training. As an example say we’re helping someone layout their exhibition stand. The training style involves getting the ‘sales’ elements together for the product or service, and working next to the person we’ll create the layout together. After a few attempts the people we work with will become independently proficient.
Coaching – for a specific skill, but now in an indirect way (“hands off”) style of coaching. For the stand layout example we would talk to the person before (and/or after) the practice phase to help that person to reinforce knowledge and anticipate setbacks before they occur. We’d give tips and tricks that help you succeed at presenting your product or service at an expo. We are there to boost confidence and reduce anxiety to improve performance and bring out the best of what is already in our client.
Here at Exhibitex our focus is on teaching/training.
Teaching increases the ability to carry out a range of skills through direct interactions. Here we help the person to acquire the skills to perform a range of exhibit management skills including how to prepare, plan and evaluate the outcome from an expo campaign. Of course, these skills would benefit the person across a range of day-to-day marketing and business growth activities.
As trainers we prepare materials and deliver a process and content in a way that transfers knowledge or develops new skills as efficiently as possible. Often before we train we wear our consultancy hat. We analyse the problem (ie poor return on investment, slow sales, poor on-stand interaction, disorganised planning etc) and suggest the best course of action to resolve the problem. Often we figure out the problem, write a proposal to the client, which, if agreed upon, indicates what implementation will be done.
There is an option here. As your consultant we can implement a solution to the problem, be it designing a better marketing campaign, developing better planning processes, or an exhibition stand that converts visitors better. You are involved in the process due to the sign-offs required for each step and the payments that take the work to the next phase. Or , we can teach onsite, or online, in the form of a work programme, an e-book, e-learning, video – we deliver the prescription through instructions, guidance and advice and the implementation is done by you, the client; often the client likes the comfort and security of knowing we will mentor him/the team through the process.
Mentoring – Great mentors fill in the blind spots, clarify motivations and help to remove mental obstacles to succeed at laying out your expo stand (in this example). Conversations here would involve exploring why being able to present and promote, yourself and/or your business, is an important life skill and what the person enjoys or dislikes about he idea of being in the ‘live’ environment to reinforce capability in general skills and natural abilities.
Training and mentoring can work well when used together. One obstacle encountered in business education is the difficulty of transferring skills and enthusiasm from a training course to the workplace. Mentoring can be an excellent way of helping people to apply what they learn from a training course and incorporate it into their day-to-day marketing, business growth and/or when exhibiting at events and shows.
With start-ups and smaller business owners there are occasions when coaching is adopted. This is always done on a one-to-one basis and explores what people already know, but in a way that would probably not occur to them without the guidance of us as coaches. For small business owners, we would work on the “bigger picture” of what it is that you want to create for your business (and your lifestyle). So, taking the stand layout exercise it might be that you want to book your first exhibition, or improve your on-stand interaction, maybe you’re dream is to take open floor space at a large expo or to hold an ‘invite’ only private event. Whatever it is as your coach we will talk to you and help you keep motivated and move forward with your dreams, goals and tasks.