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Education vs. Training


  • Fri 11 June 2021
  • Blog

In book "Management of the Absurd", Richard Farson argues that leaders cannot be trained, they can only be educated. He points out to important distinsctions between training and education (in human relations, at least):

  • "Training, as we know, leads to the development of skills and techniques [which] don't work well in human relations. Education, on the other hand, leads to information and knowledge, which in the right hands can lead to understanding, even to wisdom. And wisdom leads to humility, compassion, and respect — qualities that are fundamental to effective leadership."

  • "Training makes people more alike, because everyone learns the same skills. Education, because it involves an examination of one's personal experience in the light of an encounter with great ideas, tends to make people different from each other."

Finally, Richard adds: "With the right kind of education, managers can gain better self-understanding, learn about their own interpersonal styles, their reactions to and impact on others, prejudices and blind spots, strenghts and weaknesses... Education gives managers new ways of thinking, new perspectives. It can enable them to see the interconnectedness of events, to go beyond the conventional wisdom."