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Coaching for

Optimal Performance 1
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presentations on HR management and
management skills 2
1. Characteristics of Good Coach
2. Elements of Good Coaching Session
3. Communication Skills for Effective Coaching
4. Five Steps of Coaching for Optimal Performance
5. Coaching Strategies for Different Behavioral Style

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Characteristics of
Good Coach 4
Benefits of Good Coaching

Help develop employee’s competence

Help correct unsatisfactory performance

Help diagnose performance problems

Foster productive working relationship

Improve employee performance 5
Characteristics of Good Coach

Positive Supportive

Goal Focused Observant

Oriented 6
Characteristics of Good Coach
• Your job is not correcting mistakes,
Positive finding fault, and assessing blame
• Instead, your function is achieving
productivity goals by coaching your
staff to peak performance 7
Characteristics of Good Coach
• Your job as coach is to get workers
Supportive what they need to do their job well,
including tools, time, instruction,
answers to questions, and protection
from outside interference 8
Characteristics of Good Coach
• Base your assignments on clear,
Goal definable goals
• Tie specific tasks to those goals
• Communicate those goals to the
people who actually have to do the
work 9
Characteristics of Good Coach
• Effective communication is specific
Focused and focused
• You are far more likely to get action if
that employee leaves your office
focused on resolving the issue at
hand 10
Characteristics of Good Coach
• Being observant means more than
Observant just keeping your eyes and ears open
• You need to be aware of what isn’t
said as well as what is. If you are
paying attention, you won’t have to
wait for somebody to tell you about a
problem 11
Boss vs. Coach
Boss Coach

• Talks a lot • Listens a lot

• Tells • Asks
• Presume • Explores
• Seeks control • Seeks commitment
• Orders • Challenges
• Works on • Work with
• Assign blame • Takes responsibility
• Keeps distant • Makes contact 12
Elements of
Good Coaching Session 13
Elements of Good Coaching Session

Establish Establish Keep

a purpose ground focused

Develop Speak Discuss one

dialogue clearly specific
issue 14
Elements of Good Coaching Session

• Having a clear purpose at the

beginning of coaching session will
a purpose
enable you to conduct focused
and productive discussion 15
Elements of Good Coaching Session

Establish • As with any meeting, you and the

ground employee need to have a common
rules understanding of certain factors

• The most important are time and

roles 16
Elements of Good Coaching Session

A few guidelines to keep focused :

focused • Avoid making “noise” – anything
that distracts from the atmosphere

• Don’t look at your desktop or PDA

• Don’t touch your papers

• Don’t answer the telephone 17
Elements of Good Coaching Session

• A Don’t launch into a monolog

dialogue • If you’re coaching effectively, your
employee should probably do most
of the talking 18
Elements of Good Coaching Session

• These tips will help you

communicate more effectively:
• Use the simplest, most
common terms

• Avoid the jargon

• Be specific

• Use the known to explain the

unknown 19
Elements of Good Coaching Session

• Define the issue and limit the

Discuss one
discussion to something
specific issue

• You’ll get other chances to discuss

other concerns – but only if you
resolve this specific concern right
now 20
Communication Skills for
Effective Coaching 21
Seven Communication Principles for Coaching

1. Soften the ‘you’s or change the into “I” to avoid

sounding pushy
• Instead of : ‘You’ll have to….’, say ‘Could you….’
Or ‘Would you be able to….’

1. Focus on the solution,

solution not the problem
• Instead of ‘We’re out of mild….’, say ‘We will pop
down the shop for some milk’. 22
Seven Communication Principles for Coaching

3. Turn can’ts into cans

• Instead of ‘We can’t do that until next week’, say
‘We’ll be able to do that next week’.

4. Take responsibility – don’t lay blame

• Instead if ‘It’s not my fault’, say ‘Here’s what I can
do to fox that’. 23
Seven Communication Principles for Coaching

5. Say what do you want,

want not what you don’t want

• Instead of ‘Don’t drive too fast’, say ‘Drive carefully’

5. Focus on the future,

future not the past

• Instead of “I’ve told you before not to……, say

‘From now on…….”

5. Share information rather than argue or accuse

• Instead of ‘No, you’re wrong’, say ‘I see it like

this….’ 24
Gather Good Information with your EARs

E – explore by asking questions

A – affirm to show you’re listening

R – reflect your understanding

S – silence, listen some more 25
To listen more effectively…..

Attend physically – the right body language helps us to

focus on the speaker and encourages the speaker to give
us more information.

Attend mentally – follow the speaker’s flow of thought,

listen to understand, not evaluate; listen first, then assess

Check it verbally – paraphrase, clarify, probe further,

summarize your understanding 26
Good Habits of Effective Listeners
• Looking at the speaker in order to observe body language
and pick up subtle nuances of speech

• Asking questions

• Giving speakers time to articulate their thoughts

• Letting people finish what they are saying before giving

their opinion

• Remaining poised, calm, and emotionally controlled

• Looking alert and interested

• Responding with nods and ‘uh-uhms’ 27
Asking Questions in Coaching Session

An effective question is brief

An effective question is focused

An effective question is relevant

An effective question is constructive 28
Asking Questions in Coaching Session
• The longer the question, the
An effective
more likely you are to louse it up
question is
BRIEF • Short sentences aren’t just easier
to understand, they are also
easier to say.
• To keep you question brief, think
about two things : 1) what do you
want to learn from then answer?
2) what words will best elicit this
information? 29
Asking Questions in Coaching Session
• Target a single and a particular
An effective
aspect of that subject per
question is
• If you don’t, you may render any
answer meaningless 30
Asking Questions in Coaching Session
• Keep you questions on subject
An effective
and on target
question is
RELEVANT • If an answer strays off the point,
tactfully refocus 31
Asking Questions in Coaching Session
• You need to accentuate the
An effective
positive in you approach to
question is
CONSTRUCTIVE questioning, not because it make
you seem nicer, but because
your questions will be more
effective 32
Exploring Questions

Open questions yield lots of information

Questions because they allow a person to explain what is
most important or interesting and encourage

Probing Probing questions are those that relate to the

Questions topic we want to explore further. They
encourage the speaker to flesh out the details. 33
Closed vs. Open Questions

When did that happen? What led up to that?

Was your trip successful? What did you manage to

accomplish on your trip?

Did you like the candidate? In what ways do you think that
candidate meets our need?

Did you have a good meeting? What happened at the meeting? 34
Some Probing Questions
• Can you be more specifics?

• Can you give me an example of that?

• What happened then?

• For instance?

• How does this affect you?

• What might cause that, do you think?

• Can you fill me in on the details? 35
Five Steps for
Effective Coaching 36
Five Steps of Coaching
Describe Discuss the Identify
performance causes of and write
issue a the problem down
professional possible
manner solutions

Develop Conduct
specific follow up
action session
plan 37
Describe Performance Issue
Describe • As you describe the problem, be
performance specific. Point out the acceptable levels
issue a (quantity or quality) of performance and
professional show the employee exactly where
manner his/her output doesn't meet those levels
• Refer to any available data that will
help you indicate to the employee that
there is a problem
• It's important to open this discussion in
a positive, non-threatening way 38
Discuss the Causes of the Problem
Discuss the • Remain relaxed and friendly
causes of the • Gather all the information you can
problem about the problem by asking open-
ended questions (general questions
beginning with words like "How,"
"What," "Who," and "When")
• These questions will bring you closer to
the source of the problem 39
Discuss the Causes of the Problem
Discuss the • You may find it appropriate to ask some
causes of the specific questions designed to clarify
problem and pinpoint causes
• This is a good time to listen and respond
with empathy, since the employee may
express concern or frustration over
factors which he/she feels cannot be
controlled 40
Diagnosing Performance Problem
Role Expectations

Ability (skills and knowledge)
problems are
due to one Job Design
(or more) of
five factors : Work Environment

Personal/Motivational Problem 41
Diagnosing Performance Problem

Role • Does the employee know what is

Expectations expected? Does s/he even know there
is a problem?

Ability • Does the employee have the requisite

(skills and skills, abilities and aptitudes to perform
knowledge) the job? Has s/he received training to
do the job? 42
Diagnosing Performance Problem

Job Design • Does the employee have the necessary

tools and resources to perform the job?
Does the system support good

Work • Is good performance rewarded ... or

Environment punished? Is poor performance
rewarded? Is the employee being
treated fairly? Do working conditions
support good performance? 43
Diagnosing Performance Problem

Personal/ • Does an issue or a problem exist in the

Motivational employee's personal life that may
Problem contribute to poor performance? Is the
employee's attitude or morale
preventing the employee from
successfully applying his/her skills and
abilities? 44
Identify Possible Solutions
Identify • After you have identified the likely
possible causes of the performance problem, you
solutions will want to decide how to correct it
• The employee is closest to the problem -
so ask for his/her ideas and write them
• This not only enhances the employee's
self-esteem, but it provides a written
record of possible solutions
• The employee will be more committed to
solving the problem if he/she has had a
say in the solution 45
Conduct Follow Up Session
Conduct • Setting a date to meet again sends a
follow up message to the employee that solving
session the performance problem is important to
• It also tells the employee that you want
to know how well he/she is handling the
actions agreed upon
• A follow-up meeting enables you and the
employee to get together to discuss any
progress or problems and plan further
action 46
Coaching Strategies for
Different Behavioral Style 47
Four Styles of Behavior

Dominance Steadiness

Influencing Compliance 48

• They like to control their environment by overcoming

opposition to accomplish their desired results
• They are direct, forceful, impatient, and can be extremely
• They enjoy being in charge and getting things done
• When they are negatively motivated, they can be defiant
• They don’t like being told what to do
• They are reluctant with tasks that involve dealing with lots of
• They would quickly become bored with a routine task 49

• They like to shape the environment by influencing or

persuading others to see things their way
• They dislike for handling complex details or working as lone
• They prefer to deal with people rather than things
• They enjoy making a favorable impression, a good motivational
environment, and viewing people and environment optimistically
• They will chat with you about anything on their minds
• They motivate their people and love to generate enthusiasm
• When negatively motivated, they can be indiscriminately
impulsive 50

• They like to cooperate with others to carry out a task

• They are team player and prefer dealing with things, one thing
at a time
• They are patient, reliable, loyal and resistant to sudden
changes in their environment
• They appreciate an orderly step-by-step approach
• They tend to perform in a consistent, predictable manner and
prefer a stable, harmonious work environment
• When they get demotivated they can become stubborn or
stern, moods usually expressed in the form of passive
resistance 51

• They are cautious and demands quality and accuracy

• They appreciate opportunities for thorough, careful planning
• They are critical thinkers who are sticklers for detail
• They prefer to spend time analyzing a situation and like the
steadiness, are slow to accept sudden changes
• They like following procedures and standards – preferably their
• They respond favorably to logical, well-thought-out, planned
• When they are negatively motivated, they become cynical or
overly critical 52
Coaching Strategies for Dominance
• Be clear, direct, and to the point when you
interact and communicate with them
• Avoid being too personal or talking too
much about non work items
• Let them know what you expect from
them. If you must direct them, provide
choices that give them the opportunity to
make decisions
• Accept their need for variety and change.
When possible, provide new challenges,
as well as opportunities to direct the
efforts of others 53
Coaching Strategies for Influencing
• Ask about things going on in their lives
outside of work
• Let them share with you their goals at
work and elsewhere
• Tie your objectives to their dreams and
• Create democratic atmosphere and
interaction with them 54
Coaching Strategies for Steadiness
• Provide specific direction and offer
assurances when necessary
• When implementing change, be sure to lay
out a systematic, step-by-step procedure
and draw out their concerns and worries
about the situation. They need to feel
• Assure them that you’ve thought things
through before initiating changes. Give
them a plan to deal with problem when
they occur 55
Coaching Strategies for Compliance
• Opportunities to demonstrate their
• Plenty of details
• Enough time to prepare for meetings
properly – especially if they have an item
on the agenda to present
• Situations where their systematic
approach will contribute to long term
success 56
References/Recommended Further Readings

1. Marshal J. Cook, Effective Coaching,

Coaching McGraw Hill. You can get
this excellent book at this link :

2. Jack Cullen and Len D’Innocenzo, Coaching to Maximize

Performance Velocity Business Publishing. You can get this excellent
book at this link 57
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