Performance Coaching – An Overview
Performance Coaching is a form of business consulting involving the art and science of assisting others excel in life and work. It is an interactive process designed to help individuals develop rapidly in professional and personal areas. Performance Coaching may be regarded as accelerated goal-oriented learning designed for the busy person. It is a one-on-one process that maximizes excellent performance through focusing on finding personal direction.
The art of Performance Coaching is about using the wisdom, expertise, and professional and personal life experiences of the coach with the client.
The science of Performance Coaching involves applying social science theory and research with emphasis on positive behavioral psychology as a means to understand behavioral and organizational issues of interest or concern to the client.
This form of coaching often focuses upon clarifying life/career direction or mastering management and leadership performance. Regardless of focus, Performance Coaching aims to build, achieve, and/or identify:
- Enhanced self-awareness and development
- A practice of mindfulness
- Planning and goal setting
- Increased mental focus
- Action steps for increasing performance
- Clarity of life purpose and direction
- Collaborative problem solving
- Practice of behaviors contributing to renewed focus and success
- Objective feedback on performance
- Greater levels of Emotional Intelligence, interpersonal skill and personal effectiveness
The Return on Investment
Performance Coaching has grown significantly during the past decade as a means of learning and individual development especially for managers. It is most effective for individuals highly motivated to learn and grow at an accelerated pace.
Performance Coaching increases an individual’s competitiveness and success by establishing learning and personal development as sources of competitive advantage.
There are many benefits to Performance Coaching. Clients have observed enhanced clarity of direction and purpose, higher productivity, and increased precision of management and leadership capacity. In addition, research studies have identified the following as benefits of coaching:
- Enhancing team and individual morale
- Generating higher responsibility
- Supporting individuals during organizational change/restructuring
- Valuable as part of a program to motivate and retain employees
- Increasing investment value of training and development programs
Research has shown a direct benefit between this kind of coaching and increasing productivity. It has been shown training increases work productivity by about 22%. Adding a one-on-one (8-week) coaching relationship after training pushed productivity to 88%.
Why Retain a Performance Coach
- To support the appointment of a person to management, senior position, elected office or, to a different role such as the transition from college to the work force
- To accelerate the development of an individual defined as ‘high potential’
- To clarify and map life’s purpose and career aspirations
- To have a confidential, objective, and independent sounding board
- To support individuals engaged in wider personal effectiveness programs, such as a 360-degree appraisal
- To achieve maximum productivity
- To maximize investment of training and development of personnel
The Framework & Process of Performance Coaching
Willeford Group’s conceptual framework and approach to providing Performance Coaching is grounded in research based social and behavioral science.
There are three primary pathways of discovery and change within the Willeford Group Performance Coaching framework. They are:
- Personal Effectiveness
- Identify where client is now
- Raising self-awareness
- Identify areas of self-development
- Potential use of tools (identify values, character strengths, learning style, personality, locus of control)
- Business and Job Requirements
- Understanding client’s ‘actual’ role and job responsibilities
- Organizational mission and purpose
- Organization performance measures and expectations
- Organizational and personal values alignment
- Career and Personal Aspirations
- Clarifying life direction
- Clarifying career aspirations
- Assessing life balance
- Potential use of career assessment tools
Coach-client work may focus upon a single pathway or all three depending upon the needs and issue(s) at the center of the coaching partnership.
Willeford Group uses the following process in Performance Coaching:
- Contracting and defining the coach-client partnership
- Establishing coaching ethics, confidentiality, and expectations
- Identifying focal issue(s) of coaching
- Discovering a shared understanding of the issue(s)
- Designing effective paths forward
- Taking mindful actions, experimenting, reflecting, and evaluating
- Linking change to the client’s larger system, style, and life strategies
- Closing of the relationship
Business and personal issues leading to the coaching engagement vary. It is not uncommon for coaching sessions to migrate from the initial issue to ‘bigger issues’ such as life purpose, self-management, life balance, or how to quickly increase manager and leader effectiveness.
A Typical Coaching Schedule
The most common schedule for Performance Coaching involves a one hour session per week between coach and client in a private and relaxed setting. Sessions may be held in person, by telephone, or online using Skype, GoToMeeting, or FaceTime. Clients have access to the coach between weekly coaching sessions as part of the coaching engagement.
Coaching engagements require a one month commitment and often range from three – twelve months in duration. The coaching client has the freedom to terminate coaching at anytime.
Core Deliverables of Performance Coaching
An organization or individual client may expect the following activities and outcomes associated with Performance Coaching:
- Enhanced confidence
- Advising on business & career matters
- Fostering of individual performance in career/business
- Help with discovering one’s own path to high performance and excellence
- Providing accountability
- Providing independent viewpoint and advice
- Helping identify alternative methods of problem solving
- Persistent guidance to become the best person possible
- Being asked the right questions
- Help addressing difficult issues
- Support in focusing on individual behavior change
- Guidance in planning and effective goal setting
- Aligning purpose with goals
- Developing strategic direction
- Providing resources and tools for life succes
Additional Support Services
From an organizational perspective, Willeford Group offers the following ‘support services’ that may be combined with or follow Performance Coaching:
- Strategic Planning
- Business Strategy Development
- Goal Setting
- Market Analysis
- Program and Systems Review
- Organization Development
- Management & Leadership Development
- Policy and Procedure Development
The Costs of Services
The cost of Performance Coaching is negotiated between Willeford Group and the client. Initial consultation to determine the need and best ‘fit’ for Performance Coaching are offered at no cost.