Balance Cubed

Episode #60: "The Role of Leaders in Performance Coaching"

May 03, 2023 Joe Clementi "Coach Joe" Season 2 Episode 60
Balance Cubed
Episode #60: "The Role of Leaders in Performance Coaching"

To maximize team performance, it's essential to have a culture that supports and encourages growth. Think of it like filling up a race car in the pitstop - everyone on the team must be working effectively for the driver to hit their peak potential. 

Performance coaching is an invaluable tool for teams who are looking to unlock each individual’s superpower and work towards a common goal. However, many businesses don't realize its importance or how to implement it successfully.

At its core, performance coaching helps individuals reach their highest potential through specialized skills and collaboration. By harnessing this powerful technique, you can ensure your team members experience success in all facets of their roles.

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 On Episode #60. "The Role of Leaders in Performance Coaching"

Leaders have a unique responsibility to foster excellence in their teams. A great source of inspiration is professional sports, which emphasizes the art of coaching. Football teams often employ 15 assistant coaches to work with players and help them achieve peak performance levels; they create an environment where everyone can be successful.

The same principles apply in business: effective leaders must continuously engage with each individual on their team, building trust and aligning goals with company values. Through one-on-one meetings, leaders can identify what motivates team members and unlock the potential within each individual - unlocking space for creativity, innovation and personal growth.  By taking this approach from the perspective of a coach rather than a manager, we can ensure that our teams are always operating at their highest level!

Ideally, performance coaching should be an integral part of your organization’s talent management strategy. It can have a big impact on employee and client engagement—and therefore, by extension, on the performance side of the business as a whole. 


People managers in the corporate world have a critical role to play - they should be bringing coaching to their teams, helping members to feel invested and build trust. In turn, this will help employees show up as their best selves each day and make your company stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. The ultimate result? A team that delivers outstanding results. 

As hybrid work is here to stay, leaders must shift away from the traditional command-and-control management style and instead focus on providing support, guidance and space for learning, innovation - even taking risks or failing. This creates a culture of high performance, strong engagement with customers and increased productivity. Regular one-on-one meetings are key tools for coaches wanting to increase capacity and empower change. 

Organizational leaders can no longer ignore the data which shows how important coaching is for creating successful businesses; it's now a conscious choice between becoming a high-growth coaching culture versus relying solely on task management metrics. With this knowledge comes great opportunity!

Leaders play a critical role in promoting a performance-coaching culture. It's essential to strike the right balance between support and challenge when coaching your team, to achieve maximum success. Regular one-to-one meetings, team gatherings and performance feedback with documented analysis are also important tools for helping individuals develop their potential. 

To make sure you get the most out of your coaching efforts, carefully consider frequency according to objectives and team capacity – while goal attainment is ultimately key, it’s only part of the story. With that in mind, research suggests four high-growth activities have the strongest correlation with discretionary effort: individual meetings; group meetings; objective assessment of ability; and career development plans.

The research I did for this podcast was based on an article titled ‘The impact of positive performance coaching on employee discretionary effort. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science” 

I will add the article information in podcast notes: Blau, G., & Boal, K. B. (2010). The impact of positive performance coaching on employee discretionary effort. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 46(3), 304-326.

This article examines the impact of positive performance coaching on employee discretionary effort. The study draws on a sample of 1,088 employees in a variety of positions in a diverse range of organizations. 

Through a series of regression analyses, the article found that positive performance coaching had a statistically significant positive effect on employee discretionary effort. Additionally, the results showed that employees with greater job satisfaction and perceived organizational support were more likely to have a higher level of discretionary effort. 

The study also found that employees who experienced positive performance coaching also reported higher levels of job satisfaction. The findings suggest that positive performance coaching can be a powerful tool for motivating employees and enhancing their discretionary effort.

Overall, this study provides evidence that positive performance coaching can have a positive effect on employee discretionary effort and job satisfaction. The results suggest that organizations should invest in positive performance coaching as a way to improve employee motivation and commitment.


Here is where we encourage your engagement, so get a pen out, pull over to the side of the road if you’re driving, or pause this during the ride.  

Here is our 5 practical applications for delivering effective performance coaching. 

1. Setting Clear Goals: Performance coaching can help employees define their objectives and set achievable goals.

2. Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: Coaching can help employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to their advantage.

3. Building Self-Awareness: Coaching can help employees become more self-aware and identify areas where they can improve.

4. Developing Self-Motivation: Coaching can help employees to stay motivated and committed to achieving their goals.

5. Providing Support and Encouragement: Performance coaching can provide employees with the support and encouragement they need to stay on track and be successful.

Rather than delve into the technicalities of performance coaching, we wanted to explore how it can be integrated into a leadership-driven culture. Through this podcast, we've highlighted the habits and activities used by high-performance coaches to boost team productivity and discretionary effort. We've discussed how often performance coaching is used, its scarcity in certain areas, and its potential for growth. 

An excerpt from a center for creative leadership whitepaper puts it perfectly: 'It's not necessarily a current skill set that matters most but an individual's capacity to adapt and learn new knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are necessary to tackle future challenges. In other words, our focus must now shift towards finding and cultivating individuals with the ability to cast aside outdated skillsets and adopt fresh ones when needed.'

As we have discussed on our podcast, true leadership is about more than just revolutionary ideas. It's about taking ownership of your actions and attitude and being disciplined with consistent effort and focus - no matter how small or unimportant a task might seem. The ultimate result is the synthesis of all these small steps - adjusting your approach until you reach the desired goal. To be successful requires strong knowledge combined with an inspiring spirit to power your journey forward.

I’ll bring this episode to a close with an appropriate quote.  This one is from Douglas B. Reeves.

“Behavior precedes belief—that is, most people must engage in a behavior before they accept that it is beneficial; then they see the results, and then they believe that it is the right thing to do…implementation precedes buy-in; it does not follow it.” – Douglas B. Reeves. 

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