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Team Inspiration &


Performance coaching for managers

Is this tool suitable for your needs?

This particular tool applied by DNA Global is intended for managers who have potential to increase performance by modifying or fine tuning behaviour.  Although this process can improve behaviour, it will definitely not solve all performance problems.  The behavioural coaching process described here will focus only on coaching for behavioural change, not on strategic/business coaching, or career coaching.


Conditions for Success

For our performance coaching to be successful:

The manager to be coached must be willing to make a sincere effort to change.

Behavioural coaching will only work if the manager or individual concerned is willing to make the required commitment.

The company has not written off the manager.

Sometimes, organisations are really just documenting a case to get rid of someone. If that is the case, don't bother going through this process.

The manager has the functional skills to do the job.

If a manager does not have the capacity or experience required, don't expect behavioural coaching to help.

Your organisation's mission matches the interest of the manager

Behavioural coaching is a "how to get there" process, not a "where to go" process. If your organisation is heading in a different direction to that which a manager wants to head, behavioural coaching will not make him/her change course.


Getting started

If your managers have the will and capacity to change their behaviour, are operating in an environment that gives them a chance to change, and share the commitment to the direction of your organisation, DNA Global Performance Coaching will work. The nature of the process itself assures its success. The approach involves eight steps:

  1. Identify general attributes for successful managers in your organisation

    There are many useful behavioural/competency frameworks available that can point to best practice, (or you may have your own framework already).  DNA Global is cautious about over zealous application of, and reliance upon behavioural/competency frameworks.  We recommend a flexible approach, emphasising such frameworks are a guide rather than prescription for best practice.  Once you have determined the general behavioural characteristics of successful managers, ask the manager to be coached if he/she agrees that these are the right kinds of behaviours.  Securing agreement will boost commitment to the process.

  2. Determine who can provide meaningful feedback.

    Key stakeholders may include direct reports, peers, customers, suppliers, or members of the management team.  Strive for a balanced mix that does not stand for or against the manager, and gain agreement that these are the appropriate reviewers.

  3. Collect feedback.

    Assessment is often best handled in a written, anonymous survey, compiled by an outside party into a summary report and given directly to the manager being coached.

  4. Analyse results.

    Talk with the manager about the results of his or her personalí feedback.  The manager may choose not to disclose individual stake holder'sí comments or numerical scores.  The point is simply to discuss the manager's key strengths and areas for improvement.

  5. Develop an action plan.

The most helpful and appreciated outcome of any assessment is specific advice.  Developing "alternatives to consider" (rather than mandates) should not be difficult.  If, for example, you asked the manager to suggest things you could do to be a better listener, you would probably receive a pretty good list, such as:

  • Don't interrupt people;

  • Paraphrase what they say;

  • Make eye contact;

  • Pause five seconds before responding to their remarks;

  • Recognise that the problem isnít figuring out what to do; the problem is doing it; and

  • Focus on one or two key behaviours and develop a few action steps to improve each.



  1. Have the manager respond to stakeholders.

    The manager being coached should talk with each member of the review team and collect additional suggestions on how to improve on the key areas targeted for improvement.

  2. Develop an ongoing follow-up process.

    Within three or four months conduct a two- to six-item mini-survey with the original review team.  Respondents should be asked whether the manager has become more or less effective in the areas targeted for improvement.

  3. Review results and start again.

If the manager has taken the process seriously, stakeholders almost invariably report improvement.  Build on that success by repeating the process quarterly for the next twelve to eighteen months.  This type of follow-up will assure continued progress on initial goals and uncover additional areas for improvement.  Stakeholders will appreciate the follow-up, people don't mind filling out a focused, two- to six-item mini-survey when they see positive results.  The manager will benefit from ongoing, targeted feedback to improve performance.

DNA Global consultants will work flexibly, adopting whatever coaching mechanism suits the needs of your organisation and the manager to be coached.

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