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Coaching for Performance

During our series on coaching, I have offered tips for coaching virtual team members and reinforced why organizational leaders should practice coaching, and how they may be missing the mark by not holding regular one-on-one conversations with their team members.

In January, I helped leaders lay the foundation for planning and initiating one-on-one coaching conversations with their team members. In February, I provided tips for setting goals with team members and establishing lead and lag indicators that enable team members and leaders to track and assess performance. While important for all team members, those who work virtually benefit greatly from measures that are clear and specific.

In this month’s edition, I offer a basic outline of a one-on-one coaching session with a team member. For more a more detailed guide, please contact me for additional ways you can enhance your coaching with your team members and boost their performance.

But first, here’s a statistic! Gallup Polls recently published a case study about coaching employees and found that strength-based employee coaching can generate a 15 percent increase in profits for an organization– and that’s just one case study. Clearly, the benefits of conducting this kind of coaching session are worth the time and energy put in.

Coaching for Performance

Coaching is the leader’s investment of task and relationship behaviors that builds team members’ competence and performance. The goal of coaching is to build conscious competence. That is, team members who are ready, willing and able to accomplish their assignments and use the appropriate behaviors. Leaders who are able to motivate and focus their team members toward excellent performance share some common coaching characteristics. They consistently practice:

  • Demonstrating through their words and actions that they care about their team members.
  • Asking questions that cause team members to think deeply about their behaviors which lead to results.
  • Telling—to set expectations, explain procedures and processes, instruct or give specific feedback.

Here’s a Tip:

Our coaching process encompasses what we call the Three C’s of Coaching. Below is a brief outline of each component.

Clarify the target, leader and team member behaviors and a coaching strategy before meeting with the team member.

  • Review current performance results based on lead and lag indicators
  • Identify behaviors team members need to—continue, do differently, stop, or start
  • Plan a strategy and approach to the coaching conversation e.g. questions to ask, feedback, etc.

Communicate to discuss performance and create an action plan.

  • Open the coaching conversation by stating its purpose and what you hope to accomplish; invite the team member to add to the agenda
  • Ask team members to share their perspective about their performance, successes and any challenges they’re experiencing; offer your perspective
  • Create an action plan for next steps including dates; check for mutual understanding by having the team member summarize their understanding, including how the leader will provide support

Check progress to ensure that agreements are being followed and the team member is on target.

  • At the next coaching session, ask the team member to provide an update of their progress; ask questions and provide feedback.
  • Recognize achievements and celebrate progress or, if necessary, discuss challenges or barriers that have caused progress to be derailed
  • Update the action plan and plans for the next coaching session

Challenge of the Month

This month select two virtual team members and begin your one-on-one coaching sessions. See what a difference it makes. Let us know how it worked for you and we’ll share it in an upcoming issue of our Tip of the Month.


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