Managers are now expected to coach
workers every day:
Nearly nine out 10 firms expect their managers and supervisors to
deliver performance coaching as part of their day-to-day work,
according to a new survey by the Institute of Personnel and
The vast majority of employers believe coaching can deliver
tangible benefits to both individuals and organizations, said the
Institute. The majority of employers planned to increase the
use of coaching over the next few years but not necessarily update
the training of their 'Managers/Leaders as Coach', it added. The research also
found that performance coaching provided by a manager or supervisor
is becoming increasingly popular as the value of sustainable
on the job learning is recognized in the workplace. However,
research also suggests that if coaching is to deliver these
significant benefits, employers need to ensure that their line
managers are provided with updated, cutting-edge training as the 'Manager as Coach' to be able to deliver the results.
organizations are not investing enough in helping their
managers/leaders develop cutting-edge performance coaching skills,
there are some significant bottom-line consequences.
In a recent large industry-wide study it was found that most
managers reported that they were confident in their ability to
coach. However, the study showed that the managers’/leaders’
skills levels as coaches were typically poor and that as
a consequence they were not nearly as effective in their coaching as
they believe themselves to be. Often times, they believed that
coaching consisted of just
providing 1-to-1 instructional feedback to their staff
members on what to do in a given situation to perform better. However,
a well-trained Manager/Leader as Coach also supports their
staff by using advanced developmental and learning tools
and providing them with personalized self-coaching strategies to
achieve sustainable levels of performance.
Most Managers/Leaders/Supervisors/Team Leaders believe they are
providing performance oriented coaching by simply providing
positional technical skills training and feedback.
Many recent studies have shown that “Technical Skills”
(our natural skills and learnt skills through training and
experience) only represent at best 20% of the input into our performance.
The remaining 80% which affects our performance comes from
our "Personal Skills" (those crucial other elements
such as our thinking and our behavioral aspects -such
as: Ability to choose or make a decision, Assertiveness,
Authenticity, Commitment to grow, Concentration, Emotional
stability, Enthusiasm, Judgment, Energy level, Resourcefulness, Honesty,
Integrity, Open-mindedness, Optimism, Persistence, Performing
well under stress, Reliability, Self-confidence,
Self-control, Self-reliance, Self-respect, Initiative or drive
etc). Few Managers/Leaders understand just how deep
rooted their own behavior patterns are, let alone how to positively
change them in other people.
Peak performance coaching tools and techniques.
To create lasting performance change
it is necessary to first understand the positive and negative
influence that a person's Personal Skills has on
the execution of their Technical Skills. Only when we fully
understand a person's behavioral patterns and create positive
self-managing coaching strategies can we assist a person to
create lasting performance change.
Performance Coaching is frequently confused with other types of
coaching, such as Executive Coaching or Leadership Coaching.
Performance Coaching is a form of Directive Coaching
versus Executive Coaching or Leadership Coaching which is a form of
Non-Directive Coaching. Broadly speaking, coaching
methodologies are either directive or non-directive in approach. Directive
Coaching involves the busy Manager who sometimes acts as a Coach:
telling, instructing, giving advice, offering guidance, giving
feedback, making suggestions etc. Non-Directive Coaching involves
helping someone to solve their own problems. The key to the
success of non-directive coaching is that the responsibility for
deciding and taking action on the outcome remains with the coachee
throughout. The non-directive approach places greater emphasis on
the learning process with a specialist full-time
(executive/leadership) coach acting more as a catalyst for new
The directive style of coaching has been adopted as the model for
coaching for performance, such as; helping provide people with
direction, guiding them in how to master new skills, procedures,
tasks and meet performance goals etc.
Performance Coaching methods have changed little in 10
years, perhaps even 20 years.
The traditional performance coaching formula has many limitations.
For example the traditional approach focuses on a single-issue problem
and assumes all individuals can work through it for themselves in a
short time. The traditional approach is also passive. The traditional
"coach" doesn't have time nor the techniques to help a
person understand why they may be stuck with an unhelpful mental
framework or 'unproductive behavior'. Many poor performing individuals
and teams who seem stuck never really change until the
"coach" can assist them to think differently.
When managers are trained using outdated, traditional coach-education
manuals, the results are greater myths and confusion rather
than improved clarity of knowledge. If something "works"
at least once in an important setting, it is likely to be repeated
as a "valuable" coaching procedure, despite
completely ignoring all the times it may not work. It also
follows that when an employee achieves some level of performance
success, the manager feels justified in his/her style of coaching.
However, if an individual does not reach their set goals, there can be a
blame-game around what they and the manager did and did
not do to cause the unsatisfactory result.
Coaches need to understand the value in staying ahead of the
rapidly evolving process of performance coaching.
The only way to improve coaching knowledge is to change the many
unfounded beliefs into valid ordered knowledge, that is, coaching
best-practice processes and standards. The introduction of
orderliness, if it is accepted, also reduces error.
Organizational, team and individual performance
results will remain disordered and inconsistent unless a standardized
coaching approach and the same coaching methodologies are adopted by
all managers with their employees. It is imperative that coaching
best-practices and evidence-based principles are introduced to the
coach's knowledge base. A failure to keep abreast of an ever expanding
knowledge base of performance coaching best-practices will halt any
progress in personal achievements and performance outcomes.
Performance can be seen as the Actual Results
vs Desired Results. Any discrepancy, where Actual is less than
Desired, could constitute the performance improvement zone.
Performance planning occurs when goals and objectives
Performance Evaluations provide a comparison of
actual on-the-job performance to established performance
measurement standards. As a best practice, the supervisor
and the employee regularly discuss expectations,
performance standards and objectives, set expectations,
gather data, and provide on going feedback to employees to
assist them in utilizing their skills, expertise and ideas to
produce results. To provide this direction, Performance Records and a Coaching Log are guides that can
be used by supervisors, in addition to their own best practices,
to gather data to provide ongoing feedback to employees
regarding their performance.
Performance measurement standards are
communicated to employees with expectations for each
Performance measurement is the process of
assessing progress toward achieving predetermined goals, while
performance management is building on that
process adding the relevant communication and action on the
progress achieved against these predetermined goals. To
provide this direction, managers/supervisors communicate
to employees what is expected of them, define satisfactory
performance for those expectations, and then monitor and
evaluate the performance on an on going basis.
Performance appraisal occurs when individual
performance is formally documented and feedback is delivered
Performance coaching occurs when a
manager/supervisor (using the Indirect Coaching Model)
intervenes and provides feedback for the purpose of
improving performance (see below for further details)
Performance improvement is any effort targeted at
closing the gap between Actual Results and Desired Results.
Performance Management is an ongoing dialogue between
the manager/supervisor and employee that links expectations, ongoing
feedback and coaching, performance evaluations, development planning,
and follow-up. Performance management should be both Strategic (about
broader issues and longer-term goals) and Integrated (linking
various aspects of the business, people management and
individuals and teams). It should provide the means to link individual
and team performance with organisational effectiveness and
the organisation's mission.
Performance Coaching Feedback is a process by which
the coach provides effective and constructive feedback on the
coachee's performance of learned skills. Effective performance is
reinforced and less-than-desirable performance is worked on to
improve. Feedback should be information that highlights strengths,
positive behavior and a means for skills critiquing, encouragement of new
learning and the explanation of the relationship
between what is expected and what has been accomplished after the work
is performed or an action is taken. Feedback can take many forms;
it can be informal or formal.