Performance Coaching – 7 Basic Strategies of the Pros
An Introduction to Performance Coaching
Performance coaching is the oldest form of coaching. Coaching of this kind requires the coach to be a knowledgeable strategic facilitator to help their client reach their goals. In some sense all coaches or Life coaches are performance coaches, however in some areas performance coaches are brought in to work on specific issues.
People who have experienced failures and setbacks will often try Performance Coaching as a way to get back on track. Performance Coaches understand that failures and setbacks are tools of learning. Many find it very surprising that a performance coach would celebrate failure with a client, but if the failure led to a realization or new understanding of how to move forward, the failure has been a success. The repetition of failures or setbacks can erode our resolve, but learning from them is actually how we all learn.
Performance Coaching also involves exploring and celebrating a client’s successes.
Performance Coaches point out and bring attention to those positive initiatives a client has taken that led to success. A Performance Coach works towards the client fully owning their success and that the client can clearly see how their performance directly led to a good outcome. In short, in Performance Coaching the coach guides their clients through a process called reflective thinking.
With Performance Coaching the coach has many ways when working with clients to help them improve or reach their goals. Below are seven possible steps the Performance Coach could use. They are not in any particular order but depend on how the Performance Coach is reading the client.
1. Explore With the Client Both The Positive And Negative Aspects Around The Issue
Most Performance Coaching coaches will want to start by examining the client’s situation with them. The Performance Coach wants to reflect first on the client’s view of what is good and what is not good about the client’s issues. For example, possibly the discussion they had with their boss resulted in getting the extra time off but not securing a pay raise. This could have been a significant step forward by the client however they are only focusing on not getting the pay raise. By placing more emphasis on the positive and acknowledging the positive, a client will be in a much better place to plan for how and when they might approach their boss in the future for a pay raise. They can also take credit and acknowledge their negotiating skills by getting the time off.
2. Reflect on the Outcome with the Coaching Client
Performance Coaching clients can learn much from just reflecting on the situation. In the case of receiving the extra days off but not the pay raise, the coach might question the client through a conversation about what client thinks the reasons for this were. (NOTE: Clients will find this particularly useful and necessary when there is little control over the situation and its outcome). Through this time of reflection and conversation with their coach, the client might realize that perhaps the board of directors of the company froze raises or funds used for raises were depleted for now. This might explain why the client did not receive a raise. In turn, this helps the client not to take things personally when in fact they are not personally responsible for the outcome of a situation.
3. Discuss With the Client What They Have Learned
The Performance Coach should then take a few moments to encourage their client to share what they have learned from this experience. For example, the client may now understand they have more value in the company than thought because they did get the extra days off. They could have learned something about negotiating skills or communications skill with this boss.
4. Discuss with the Client a Plan for Them to Use the Knowledge They’ve Just Acquired.
The Performance Coach talks with their client about the pro-active steps they can take to help make changes in their life, that would reduce the negative experiences they have and increase the positive. Through discussion the Performance Coach might assist the client to uncover some great ideas to try; i.e. Do some research on how to avoid procrastination or ways to develop better work habits, or wake up a bit earlier to avoid being late to work, or even ways to streamline their morning routine to help ensure they arrive at work on time each day? The important point is the support of the Performance Coach.
Performance Coaches want to facilitate the clients to come up with idea,s not tell their client what to do.
5. Guide the Client Through An Exercise To Visualizing Their Success
The Performance Coach can guide their client through an exercise that helps them visualize implementing new strategies that would increase their likelihood of success. Additionally, the coach can help their client visualize the rewards that await them.
6. Discuss Strategies with the Client That Will Help Them Be Open to Change
Fighting change makes change more difficult if not impossible. Performance Coaching works by helping clients learn how to identify resistance and possible ways to “let it go” or approach it with a different perspective. The coach might also be able to encourage the client towards success by discussing their experience level. For instance, someone just speaking at a first event it would be reasonable for them to be a bit nervous. But what will happen after they give ten more speeches?
7. Remind the Client to Notice Their Results
An important principle of Performance Coaching is to remind clients to take note of the feeling of satisfaction they experience when their work is completed on time when they arrive on time, and when workouts or any goals seem to be particularly successful.
The Performance Coach also understands sometimes progress seems slow and elusive to the client. Because of this professional coaches know how powerful it is for the coach to review the events over time so the client can see the progress and can acknowledge it.
Becoming a top, in demand, professional Performance Coach takes training and experience. These seven strategies give you just a small look into some of the foundational strategies Performance coaches use with clients. Another good article on Performance Coaching can be found here.