Coaching Skills, Behaviors and Performance: Measuring Performance

Last issue we looked at an overview of the G.R.O.W. coaching model, and covered the first step of the coaching process. Be sure to view that issue to understand how to do the first step of the coaching process.

Once you have reminded the person you are coaching of the development goals, the next step is to establish the current Reality. What is the current state of things? On a scale of 1-10 how would they rate their current ability compared to the development goal?

Keep in mind here, the person you are coaching has already been trained in the principles and skills needed t perform well on the job. They already know what good looks like; they already know what the expectations are; and they should already know how to do it. So, if you’ve found coachable points in this person’s behaviors or performance, then it’s likely she already knows she hasn’t met those expectations.

You your next question to her should be something like . . .

“Sarah, on a scale of 1-10, how do you think you did on that call?”

There are several reasons why we suggest asking the question this way. First, using a scale of 1-10 allows us a means to measure performance. Second, a response of anything less than a 10 confirms there is room for improvement. And third, asking the person you’re coaching to rate his/her own performance is vital for transferring ownership of those improvements to that person. Your goal here is to gain agreement with the person you are coaching that his/her performance could stand some improvement.

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Be sure to push back on an unrealistic rating (such a 9 or a 10 when the performance was really more like a 4 or a 5). So, freely appeal to the standards of the training if you need to. But also be sure to pick your battles carefully. If they rate themselves a 7 or 8, live with it. That still gives you plenty of room to coach improvements.

Once you’ve established the need for performance improvements, ask her questions like . . .

“What would a 10 look like?”

“In a perfect scenario what would you have done differently.”

“What else have you tried?”

“What were the results?”

“What obstacles stand in the way of making these customer calls more effective?”

This Reality step sets the foundation for step 3 of the process, which focuses on the options for performance improvements.

That’s it for this edition of the SupportEDGE. Until next time, be sure all your development is performance-driven and outcomes-based.


Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is principal and lead consultant of SCInc., a learning and development consulting company. Eric has over 20 years experience in creating and executing results-oriented, outcomes-based learning and development initiatives aligned to corporate goals. He specializes in leadership development and coaching, and leading organizational culture-change initiatives around customer support and safety leadership. Eric was personally involved in the development of certification standards, performance standards, exam validation, competency models and training for the customer-support and technical-support industry, and was instrumental in the creation of the only performance-based certification in that industry.

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