Is 1:1 Best for Executive Training?

Michael Gallagher, .

Is it better to have one-on-one executive training or to opt for a group setting? The answer is a clear, emphatic, definitive “It depends.” Sorry. But consider this: is a personal trainer the best option for losing weight? It would seem like it, wouldn’t it? But why are support groups, like Weight Watchers, so effective? You can see that there are benefits to both a personal coach and a group setting. It is the same with executive training.

One-on-one training is sometimes the best option. When? Say that you must learn a specific skill. You already have experience, education, and background that informs your learning of the skill. In other words, if you’re trying to learn how to be more effective in decision-making, your personal history and personality is important. A one-on-one situation allows you to address the strengths and weaknesses that directly impact decision-making for you.

Further, your coach or trainer can help you develop strategies with which you can make more effective decisions, and then you will both find ways to implement them that make sense for your job, your company culture, and your personality.

When is a group setting more advantageous?
Queen’s University Business School offers world-class training programs; classes are typically conducted in a group/seminar environment, where ideas are shared among peers for better understanding. In this case, it’s not about personal attention per se: the class members become contributors to the learning process.

So you begin to learn from the person behind you, who is giving this input. Then you learn something from this executive who is sharing an example of this concept. Then you provide feedback on a situation you were faced with. You have many more perspectives and experiences from which to draw, and this can be tremendously useful. Some business schools use a “case method” style of teaching, so students learn from real examples, which reinforce the lessons and skills.

One-on-one training is often very helpful in developing effective executives, but it is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Will a group learning situation suit your executive, company, or budget better? Will it help facilitate the end-goal you have in mind? We have this idea that one-on-one is always best, but what is “best” is what is most effective for you and your situation.

Implementing some of the ideas mentioned here can be challenging. If you would like to discuss them in the context of your own specific business please contact us. We’d be glad to help.

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Michael Gallagher

Mike Gallagher, President of Michael Gallagher Advisory, has spent the past 20 years helping small business owners and managers develop and implement strategic business plans, achieve sustainable, targeted growth and solve the problems that keep them up at night.