Stop Feeling Like a Pinball: Four Foundations of Effective Performance Coaching That Take Just a Few Minutes a Day

January 2024 | By ALULA

The first month of 2024 is almost over, and leaders are already finding themselves feeling like a pinball at work: bouncing around between meetings, reports, and decisions without finding – or taking – opportunities to prioritize something that guarantees swift productivity and progress: performance coaching their people. 


Here’s the reality: Leaders can’t effectively coach employees if they're ricocheting rapidly between issues like a pinball bouncing through obstacles and lights. Quality coaching requires patience, active listening, and thoughtful guidance to understand what's happening and provide tailored support as well as praise. 

Ready for a reset? When the chaotic pinball motion pauses, don't see it as game over. See it as an opportunity to connect, which doesn’t need to be time intensive. 

Connecting with your workforce is a quality-over-quantity challenge. Here are four foundations for effective performance coaching that you can put into practice in just a few minutes each day: 

  1. Share your coaching plan 

    Don’t just react to what you see or hear. Proactively identify the desired actions and outcomes you want to see from your team members and then seek out opportunities to observe, praise, or correct them.  

  2. Follow up with people

    Check in with your team members regularly. Ask them how they're handling the actions and outcomes you're coaching them on. Listen for examples of what's going well and acknowledge how you'll act on their feedback or barriers.  

  3. Prioritize reinforcement 

    Help your team members recognize the positive impact of their actions and outcomes – especially on themselves, customers, and colleagues. Show them how their actions align with the mission and values of your organization, and how they're contributing to desired results.  

  4. Evaluate yourself 

    Ask yourself if your coaching is having the right influence on your team members. Look for evidence that they're doing more of what is good for the business and less of what is not. Adjust your coaching plan accordingly. 

Remember: the success of your coaching starts with a solid coaching plan (foundation #1) that clarifies the actions and outcomes you need to see from your team. If your list of desired actions and outcomes is too long or complex, we are here to help you prioritize and simplify it so that your coaching makes a positive difference.   

If youre ready to take your coaching to the next level, master foundation #2 with our 12 Tips for Conducting Effective Check-in Meetings. Click below to try it out. 

Topics: Leadership, Communicating with Teams, Coaching


Written by ALULA