Performance Acceleration Coaching

August 23, 2015 by Ken Nowack

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

John Quincy Adams

Each week when we attend our guide dog puppy training with Indy it’s pretty easy to pick out the “winners” from the “losers” (OK, we have been wrong many times before).  The “winners” seem incredibly mature, well-behaved, attentive and seem to have all the “right stuff” to on to become an outstanding guide dog.

These are the puppies that are termed “high potentials” and are the ones the trainers want to make sure that the volunteer puppy raisers do the right things to ensure their long term success.

Like guide dog puppies, organizations have their “high potentials” that they can’t afford to lose in today’s globally competitive marketplace.  In fact, most organizations look for developmental opportunities, “stretch assignments” and other ways to help “accelerate” their growth and future potential.

Coaching these high potential individuals requires a bit of a different model and techniques to “sharpen” key competencies and facilitate specific skills and experiences.  This type of coaching is referred to as Performance Acceleration coaching.

PERFORMANCE ACCELERATION COACHING (High Performance/High Interpersonal Competence)

Talent demonstrating a high level of performance and demonstrating interpersonal competence can be further developed by utilizing a Performance Acceleration model of coaching.  These “high potential” clients are the “lovable stars” that organizations want to retain over time.

In this model, the focus is on leveraging the strengths of these clients and enhancing their “star” potential.  Generally, coaches will utilize diverse approaches to assessment including targeted interviews with critical stakeholders, personality/style tools and skill based multi-rater feedback instruments.

Most coaching assignments will be maximized with a moderate engagement of 4 months or more with an emphasis on ongoing readings, case discussions and situation analyses.  Such clients are expected to be fairly responsive, open and eager to learn making the coaching engagement typically easier.  Such clients will be looking for greater specificity in feedback and targeted resources to facilitate his/her development.  Such clients will tend to keep coaches challenged because they are motivated and interested in learning as much as possible to leverage what they do well and become even better.

Perf Acceleration

Performance Acceleration Coaching Strategies

  • Engineer “stretch assignments” and developmental activities
  • Consider using an executive coach to enhance “signature strengths”
  • Look for more opportunities to provide more specific feedback
  • Encourage work-life balance
  • Champion their future career potential with other senior managers

These individuals will tend to grow and develop independently as they appear to have the right personality and “signature strengths” to become even more successful.  However, with the right kind of coaching and mentoring, these individuals can accelerate their potential development.

I think we have a “high potential” in Indy….I just hope in my role as a volunteer puppy raiser that I don’t mess it up….Be well…..

Kenneth Nowack, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist (PSY13758) and President & Chief Research Officer/Co-Founder of Envisia Learning, is a member of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Ken also serves as the Associate Editor of Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. His recent book Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It is available for free for a limited time by signing up for free blog updates (Learn more at our website)

Posted in Engagement, Leadership Development, Relate

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  • I always relate to your posts. I’ve had the leadership analogies with dog ownership for a while and with our 8 month old puppy, it’s so true how many leadership lessons there are! I’m most aware of the precept that you’re not training the dog but the human. Don’t you find it intriguing how much variation exists among the dog owners when the trainer teaches a new instruction? That’s are challenge in a nutshell! Thanks, ken!

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