“Training” is about transferring knowledge about a topic from the trainer (who has some expertise to share) with the group of people who do not yet have that knowledge. It is often technical, such as how to use a piece of software or how to follow a company policy or procedure. For example, a company may hold a training for all managers on how to use their performance management software, or how to conduct a performance review according to company policy.
A leadership development program, on the other hand, is about introducing a competency -related topic and then facilitating discussions among participants that helps them gain knowledge, insights about themselves and others, and ideas for implementing competency-related ideas.
For example, a leadership development program on conflict may start with a brief explanation of a model on how to recognize and resolve conflict in an organization. However, that would be relatively brief, as the rest of the program should facilitate participant discussions about their own conflict approach, the success or failure of that approach in the past, and how they might apply the new approach in their current roles. There may also be experiential exercises to give participants an experience with conflict they can reflect on and reflect on/discuss at a later point in the program.
In a training, most of the time may be spent with the facilitator explaining concepts and techniques. In a leadership development program, the facilitator spends a minimal amount of time on concepts and most of the time is spent with participants actively engaged in exercises and discussions.