What is Performance Coaching and How Does It Work?

Companies hire employees based on their skill, qualification, and experience but most employers know these qualities can’t remain stagnant. Everyone has the potential to grow, improve, and develop more skills and that’s where performance coaching comes in. It can help employees realize the full extent of their capabilities and get more satisfaction from their job. A well-trained coach can help individuals reach new heights in their career and businesses get more out of their teams. 

What is Performance Coaching?

Different experts have different definitions of performance coaching but most agree that it is the process of guiding and coaching someone to help them attain their true potential. Unlike teaching, coaching is less rigid and focuses on self-guided growth. The coach works with the employee to understand their capabilities and then come up with a plan to fully develop them. 

Performance coaching is an ongoing process that involves an honest collaboration between the coach and employee. It is an equal relationship that relies on clear communication between both parties to get the best results. The results of performance coaching can vary from person to person, for example:


  • An employee may conclude that they need more formal training in a particular field.
  • They may take up new, more challenging assignments. 
  • An employee may become comfortable taking up a leadership role. 
  • Some may identify that they’re approaching burnout and need to slow down a bit. 
  • Coaching may lead to job enrichment. 
  • Employees falling behind 

Coaching also leads to much better employee and employer relationship. The employee is satisfied that their company cares about their growth and progress. The employer is happy to identify mistakes and the potential to address them directly.

How Does Performance Coaching Work?

Coaching doesn’t contain any fixed lesson plans or tutoring sessions. Every individual requires a unique approach. However, experts agree there are a few critical aspects of the process and they include:

  1. Building Trust and Rapport 

The first step usually involves building trust and rapport between a coach and the employee. It is a slow process and it is rare for people to click during the first meeting. Both parties come to an understanding through honest feedback and mutual respect. The coach must always be interested in their charge’s success and well-being for the endeavor to be successful. 

Trust and communication form the foundation of the coaching process. If there’s no trust and rampant miscommunication, the coach won’t be able to offer the most nuanced and effective advice. Sometimes advice based on miscommunication can have adverse effects on the client. 

  1. Understanding the Issues

Most employees have roadblocks that prevent them from reaching their true potential. Sometimes, it is difficult to identify these roadblocks without an outside perspective. For example, a person may be less productive than they used to be and want to figure out a way. It is a coach’s job to discuss the issue with the employee and determine the root cause of the problem. 

Identifying issues helps coaches set clear targets for the employee and build a better roadmap for their development. Coaches need to remain unbiased and compassionate during this process because some issues are deep-seated and unavoidable. Coaches collect all the information they need to know to approach the employees development in a nuanced and comprehensive manner. 


  1. Creating a Roadmap 

Once the coaches have all the information they need, they need to work on creating a roadmap. How can the employee reach their target most effectively and expediently? What are their primary hurdles and how can they overcome them? What are their primary strengths and weaknesses? 

The roadmap usually has a few milestones along the way to keep employees motivated. In most cases, employees only participate in performance coaching to appease their employers. It is the coach’s job to get them truly invested in their own development. Once the path is complete and targets are set, employees only need occasional encouragement to stay on it. Performance coaching is a worthwhile investment that benefits both employers and employees. A great coaching program requires planning, effort, and skill but is an ultimately rewarding experience. If you want to develop a career in this field, consider getting some formal training from well-established coach training organizations like Evercoach by Mindvalley.

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