Performance Management Coaching

September 6, 2015 by Ken Nowack

“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.”
Jim Rohn

Each week the Guide Dog trainers work with the volunteer puppy raisers to focus on one specific skill or behavior that the dog really needs to work on.  With our current guide dog puppy Indy we have been working hard to get him to remain calm when greeting people or when a new dog approaches him.

This type of “coaching” is often referred to as Performance Management coaching and surely is one of the more common skills that leaders learn to develop.

Being able to diagnose what skills, knowledge or experiences are needed to improve performance in them and then to design a way for them to acquire them is something that great leaders do naturally.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT COACHING (Low Performance/High Interpersonal Competence)

Talent demonstrating generally one or more deficiencies in specific competency areas (e.g., planning, oral presentation, writing, delegation, time management) but seen as basically collaborative and likable can best be developed further by utilizing a Performance Management model of coaching.  These clients are highly responsive to coaching specifically geared to facilitate key competencies and skill areas that might be preventing high performance.

In this model, the focus of improvement is developing specific techniques, skills and abilities.  Coaches might utilize more interactive approaches to model behavior, video tape clients in action and use employee simulations to help facilitate learning (e.g., Inbasket simulation, role plays).

Most coaching assignments will be task focused and shorter in duration based on demonstration of skill acquisition by the client and key stakeholders within the organization.

Such clients will typically have high emotional intelligence and respond to specific instruction and more pragmatic techniques and tools.

Perf Mgt

Performance Management Coaching Strategies

  • Skill based training programs (internal or external)
  • Utilize strategic developmental experiences to enhance specific competencies related to performance
  • Model desired behavior, provide instruction, support skills practice and reinforce desired behaviors
  • Consider short-term skill based coaching

Evaluating Performance Coaching Interventions

It is important to think about metrics and approaches to evaluating coaching at the beginning of the intervention.  Each of the four performance coaching models should be evaluated based upon the specific agreed upon goals of the intervention.  Some of the following should be considered as part of your performance coaching evaluation scorecard:

  • If you are using a 360 degree feedback assessment as part of your performance coaching, analyze change scores in pre-post scores (12 to 18 months following the first administration)
  • Analyze the progress made on the client’s professional development plan to come out of the coaching intervention
  • Analyze post-then change scores from the client on self-perceived changes in knowledge, skills and behavior (“post-then” is a particular approach to evaluation that measures self-perceived skills at the end of the coaching intervention  which is the “post” and how the client sees themselves before the coaching began which is the “then”)
  • Analyze post-coaching progress viewed by key stakeholders within the client system (e.g., the client’s manager, human resources)

Well, I  have to get Indy out to practice a particular “come” command where he sits in front of me and then returns, sitting down, at my side….I’ve got some good pointers from the Guide Dogs of America trainers on how to do this with him so its off to practice, practice and practice….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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