Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Coaching for Performance Part 2

Carrying out the Coaching is about using purposeful questions to help your Coachee establish goals, explore their current reality, generate and select options and take responsibility for their way forward.

Carrying out the Coaching

Coaching for Performance is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is the second of three about Coaching for Performance: Carrying out the Coaching. Planning for Coaching. The first article was about Planning for Coaching. The next article is about Reviewing and Follow Up.

This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Coaching for Performance –published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read the eBook for free.

What & Why

Coaching for Performance is about unlocking people’s potential so they set high positive expectation around the goals they intend to deliver and exceed. It’s helping them adopt a realistic view of what it will take to be successful in achieving those goals. And it’s supporting them in achieving the goals by adopting an inquisitive non-directive approach, asking purposeful questions, listening, giving feedback and adopting a coaching style or mind-set in all aspects of leadership communication.

Keith Svendsen, Chief Operating Officer at APM Terminals is quoted as saying: “There are two specific situations in business where coaching is very valuable to me. The first is where a team member is not living up to his or her potential. The second is when a team member is already successful at producing results and wants to develop much further. Either way it is our job to facilitate them – extending the limits of their current potential much further as a result of the coaching.”

Carrying out the Coaching. This competency is about using purposeful questions to help your Coachee establish goals, explore the current reality, select options and take responsibility for their way forward.


Here are some practical principles you can follow with your Coachee for Carrying out the Coaching for Performance. Coaching is about using the appropriate questions at each stage in the coaching session.

Clarify Goals. Use questions to agree mutual goals with your Coachee – for the current session and for the overall series of sessions planned. Prior to each coaching session, agree the preparation each of you will complete. This ensures you make best use of your discretionary time

Uncover Realities. Use questions to open up and explore all dimensions of the coaching subject. There should be not be any ‘no go’ areas. If you sense the Coachee is at all hesitant to discuss aspects of the subject, you can help them and the coaching outcome through gentle persistence.

Explore Options. Use questions to simulate your Coachee to explore new ideas, approaches and options for meeting their performance goals. Encourage creativity and ‘out of the box’ thinking. Use brainstorming. Contribute starter ideas yourself to create momentum and energy.

Encourage Choices. Use questions to help the Coachee select the options they plan to pursue. Ensure they decide: how to implement them; when they will do them; in what sequence; and what support they will need. This is about narrowing down or converging, closing down the session and the Coachee taking responsibility for their way forward.

Further Reading

In the Coaches Toolkit look for ‘Techniques – GROW Summary’, ‘Techniques =- Situational Coaching’, Templates – Coaching Contract’, Templates – Coaching Preparation’, ‘Tools – Purposeful Questions’

The LARA Leadership Learning series consists of 10 short modules published as Kindle eBooks and Paperbacks on Amazon. They are organised against the Leader of Others leadership competencies. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read these eBook for free.

Coaching for Performance: GROWing human potential and purpose (fifth edition). John Whitmore.

The Tao of Coaching. Max Landsberg.

Coaching for Performance Part 1: Planning for Coaching The previous article in this series.

Preparing & Planning for Coaching An article on this Blog from May 2016.

Author: Trevor Sherman

Trevor Sherman: Author, Blogger and Coach. What do I do? I develop leadership training material and personal learning modules. I am the owner and operator of this Blog. I coach senior executives for their development and role transition. I am based in Northamptonshire UK and operate globally - in person and through technology.

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