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Homework answers / question archive / Module 3 - Background COACHING AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT All articles on the Home page, this page and the Case/SLP page are required unless otherwise noted

Module 3 - Background COACHING AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT All articles on the Home page, this page and the Case/SLP page are required unless otherwise noted


Module 3 - Background


All articles on the Home page, this page and the Case/SLP page are required unless otherwise noted.

Types of Coaching

There are four generic types of coaching, and each has potential benefits for performance improvement.  For the most part, employers who make coaching a part of their management strategy focus on the first two types; the latter two are most often provided by outside coaches. (See Module 4 for more on the topic of using outside coaches.)

Performance coaching tends to have a short-term focus and is typically initiated and led by an employee’s direct supervisor or manager.  The goal is to help the employee achieve better work outcomes and understand why it matters. This is accomplished by providing targeted feedback to facilitate behavior change.

Performance coaching normally takes place in regular, scheduled coaching sessions.  It is important not to surprise the employee, but to let him know that he will be meeting with his supervisor to work on performance development.  It is important for the supervisor or manager to initiate performance coaching early, as soon as it is recognized that there is a performance problem or that the employee is underperforming.  If coaching is put off until there is a major problem or crisis, it will be much harder to address.

Examples of performance problems that can be effectively addressed through performance coaching are:  interpersonal conflict, inability to engage in teams, anger management, and underperformance issues (e.g., missed deadlines, low quality of work product, etc.).

Sometimes there are multiple problems that need to be addressed.  In this case, it is best to tackle one issue at a time.  This may mean that there needs to be a series of coaching sessions to effect the desired changes without overwhelming the employee.

Read the following excellent article on performance coaching:

Clark, D. (2011) Performance Coaching.  Retrieved from 

Spot coaching is even shorter term than performance coaching.  As the name implies, it is provided on-the-spot, in the form of advice given to deal with a specific situation or problem.  Spot coaching can be initiated by the manager or at the request of the employee.  The goal is to bolster individual effectiveness in connection with a particular task, topic, or event. 

Typically, spot coaching involves just a brief, one-time conversation, but what makes it coaching (as opposed to instruction) is that it allows for two-way interaction: questioning, listening, and guiding. Spot coaching is impromptu, not planned. However, it is never delivered during a meeting or in front of others, but rather after the meeting or in a more private setting.

Examples of issues that are amenable to spot coaching include planning or debriefing presentations or projects, solving problems that arise on a day-to-day basis, clearing up miscommunications, easing frustration, etc.

Read the following article on spot coaching:

Pantall, J. (2012) Coaching on the Spot.  Retrieved from

Development coaching is longer-term and focuses on the skills and capabilities employees need to continue to develop and progress in their career.  Thus, it tends to be more employee led than employer led, as employers today tend not to view their relationship with employees on a long-term basis.  Nevertheless, development coaching can play a role in performance management if the employer is willing to invest in enhancing skills that will be important to sustained performance in the future.  The emphasis in this type of coaching is not corrective action, but how to meet needs and goals shared by the employee and the organization.

Because of the extended time horizon involved, development coaching is best done on a regular, ongoing schedule.  Organizations that engage in developmental coaching often hire an outside firm to provide this type of ongoing service.

Examples of the types of goals that are well-suited to development coaching are acquiring new skills or perspectives, such as exposure to new ideas, different customers, or clients.  Development coaching can also be initiated in response to a learning request on the part of the employee or the organization – such as when the organization is expanding into new and unfamiliar markets.

The following article makes clear the difference between performance coaching and development coaching.

Developmental and Performance Coaching (n.d.)  ROI Consulting.  Retrieved from

Career Coaching is also long term and employee led, as it addresses such questions as “Where am I going in my career?" " What job do I see myself in five or 10 years from now?" " What do I want my future to look like?”  To answer questions like these, the coach must engage more in dialogue and exploration than in giving advice or teaching skills.  The coach becomes a guide in the process of career planning and advancement.

Many organizations will not see this as a part of their “contract” with employees.  They may see no advantage in preparing an employee for their next job with another organization.  However, when career coaching focuses on internal transitions that will benefit the employee and the organization, it can play a role in performance management.  Mostly, however, career coaching is provided to employees during a downsizing as a part of an outplacement package. Individuals will also hire a career coach when considering a career change.  In any of these cases, the complexity of the situation requires expertise that is best provided by a professionally trained coach.

Examples of situations that can benefit from career coaching include frustration with a current career, identification of prospects for a new career path within a current employer, and exploration of outside opportunities and new career options going into the future.

The following articles from the Trident library provide more background on this topic:

Busby, N. (2005). Career coaching to value. Orange County Business Journal, 28(11), 1. 

McRae, C., & Dooley, E. (2013). The personal touch of outplacement. Canadian HR Reporter, 26(7), 11.

Performance Coaching and 360-Degree Feedback

What is 360-degree feedback?

360-degree feedback is a performance appraisal technique that uses multiple rates in assessing the performance of an employee.  Ratings are provided anonymously by peers, subordinates, superiors, customers, or clients. The employee also provides a self-assessment.

Heathfield, S. M. (2014)  360 Degree Feedback: Even More About the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Retrieved from

The results of the assessments are discussed with the employee – usually by his manager. The multiple perspectives that are presented help the employee to set goals.  Done correctly, 360-degree feedback is a powerful tool for performance development.  Unfortunately, it is rarely done correctly, and the potential employee development and growth is greatly diminished.  Only 34% of employees who receive feedback without coaching report meaningful changes in work behaviors.  When coaching is added to the feedback process, 94% of employees report they have made significant changes. (ref:  DECISIONWISE, (n.d.)  )

The Benefits of Combining 360-degree Feedback with Coaching

To maximize the potential for 360-degree feedback as a performance management tool, the manager needs to adopt the role of a coach when discussing the results.  360-degree feedback is all about change, and coaching is an effective way to facilitate the change process by increasing awareness, setting goals, establishing accountability, and encouraging and supporting the employee through what can be an emotional experience. 

Coaching can leverage the feedback to maximize the open area and uncover blindspots, as described by the Johari Window. This model was presented in MGT501, but to review, read the following:

Chapman, A. (2006) Johari Window Model.  Retrieved from

Finally, by combining 360-degree feedback with coaching, the leader is setting the stage for the development of a professional development plan that is grounded in data representing a wide variety of perspectives on an employee’s developmental needs.


Module 3 - Case


Assignment Overview

Exploring Options


The purpose of the Case Assignment is to create a “Live Case” by experiencing the process of coaching.  Because this case is designed around experiential learning, we can go beyond the conceptual knowledge covered in the reading materials to actual skills building.  This requires putting what you are learning into immediate practice.

In this third module, you will be working with your coachee to explore options based on the coachee's assessment of goals and current reality (as determined in Case 2).  The objective of this session is to get your coachee to commit to specific actions.  Drawing on the background reading for this and the previous modules, you will plan and carry out a coaching session that involves stage O of the GROW model.

There is a comprehensive explanation of the GROW model on the background page for Module 2. Here is a shorter synopsis:

The GROW model:  A simple process for coaching and mentoring.  (2014)  Retrieved from

The structure of the Live Case (As a reminder, each case involves three separate activities.)

Each module will follow this cycle:  Plan, execute, report.

  • Before the coaching session, write up a plan using course readings or additional research as a resource (1-2 pages).
  • Then meet with the coachee and use your plan as a guide for the session.
  • The bulk of the report is on how it went, including successes and failures.  What would you do differently next time?  (3 to 5 pages).




What are your goals for the session?

What actions do you plan?

How will you know if you are successful?
(1-2 pages)

Meet with coachee (45-50 minutes).

Report on the session.


Provide a narrative descriptive summary of the conversation as it occurred (1 or 2 paragraphs).

How do you feel the session went?

Analyze the process and outcomes of your coaching.

What new knowledge did you gain?

What would you do differently next time?

Assignment instructions

This phase of the coaching process requires brainstorming.  Think you know everything there is to know about brainstorming?  Too often, we overlook some essential basics about processes we think we know well.  Take a few minutes to refresh your understanding of the “rules” of effective brainstorming in this article from the Trident Library:

Van Valin, S. (2014). Brainstorming. Leadership Excellence, 31(2), 20-21.

  • Brainstorm as many options as possible that will help your coachee achieve his or her goal.
  • Discuss the options and select the best ones.
  • You may offer your suggestions, but let your coachee do most of the work of generating and evaluating the options.  Remember that the objective is to get the coachee to commit to action, and this means that the coachee must feel “ownership” of the plan.
  • Write up this meeting as indicated in the Keys to the Assignment, below.
  • Turn in your 4- to 6-page paper to TLC by the due date.

Keys to the Assignment

  • After reading the background materials for this module and doing additional research if needed, prepare your pre-coaching plan for a 45-50 minute session:
  • What are your goals for this session? How will you know if you are successful?
  • What skills will you use?
  • How will you go about doing this?
  • What questions will you ask?
  • Conduct your coaching session (45 to 50 minutes). Remember the ultimate goal of the session is to come up with a plan to which the coachee commits.
  • Write up your post-coaching reflection.
    • Report the facts of the coaching session, summarize the plan.
    • What went well and what did not?
    • What did you learn about coaching from this session?
    • What would you do differently next time?

Assignment Expectations

  • Include a cover page and reference page in addition to the 4–5 pages of analysis described above.
  • Your paper should have an introduction and a conclusion.
  • Use headings to indicate major sections of the report.
  • Cite and reference any outside sources.
  • Use APA formatting.
  • Proofread and edit your papers carefully. The expectation is zero errors.

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