Skills and Performance Coaching
WHAT IS SKILLS AND PERFORMANCE COACHING?
Skills and Performance coaching is (SPC) is about assisting someone to learn how to do something better. The goal of SPC is to improve someone’s skills and performance in a particular domain of human functioning. Unlike other forms of coaching, the scope and success of which may be entirely defined and determined by the coachee, SPC often involves meeting external requirements established by others. Even when the desire to improve skills and performance is intrinsically motivated, aspects of the project are still extrinsically referenced. To achieve the goal of skills and performance improvements, SPC has seven tasks.
- To grow positive motivation by shifting people from repelling motivators, such as fear and disgust, to attracting motivators, such as hope and competence. A clear and compelling vision of performance mastery, what is wanted rather than what is not wanted, is critical to continuous skills and performance improvements.
- To expand awareness of what is happening right now and what really matters? When things work well, what do they look, sound, and feel like? A clear and accurate appreciation of the present moment – what is happening rather than what is not happening – is also important for skills and performance improvements.
- To build self belief by building confidence that we can initiate and sustain performance improvements through verbal persuasion, somatic awareness, vicarious learning, and mastery experiences (Bandura, 1994, 1997).
- To frame opportunities by building environments that support movement, innovation, and resilience.
- To design experiments by generating and testing out multiple ideas for skills and performance improvements instead of getting wedded to a single course of action.
- To structure repetition and practice and assisting coachees to persevere while implementing new behaviors in engaging and fulfilling ways.
- To savour success and to experience and celebrate mastery in their desired areas of performance improvement. Quick wins build self belief and long-term success.
HOW DO WE CONDUCT SKILLS AND PERFORMANCE COACHING?
The first task of SPC is to connect external performance requirements with internal desires and ambitions. Until and unless coachees want to learn something for their own good reasons, the process of coaching will revert to instructions and incentives. We start by interviewing coachees to identify what and how they want to learn. The journey to mastery is filled with wins and losses, each of which requires supportive, emotionally-intelligent understanding. Another task is to shift coachees from a problem-solving to a strengths-building focus. Expanding on what people already know and do well is a more effective and enjoyable way to learn. To facilitate change we investigate assets more than deficits to build a clear picture of successful accomplishment by helping coachees to discover for themselves what it looks like to do something well through observation and exploration.
We also get coachees to envision themselves performing at higher levels of mastery through visualization exercises and other creative activities.
We support coachees to generate multiple possibilities for skills and performance improvements without regard to their value, feasibility, or desirability and to experiment with different approaches and contexts. Our role is also to align internal understandings and external environments so that coachees persistently make adaptive choices and sustain new behaviors.
We also assist coachees to experience quick wins and to appreciate their accomplishments before moving on to new goals and possibilities as well as becoming fully engaged with the spiral dynamic of continuous performance improvement.