The short answer, Yes! They not only must be coached, your top performers will welcome coaching, but not just any kind of coaching.
Sports offers plenty of examples of high performers and athletes at the top of their profession who continue to learn and grow with the help of their coaches. And not just sports. Best Actress Natalie Portman embraces acting coaching. In the video below she talks about her total immersion into the coaching she underwent to convincingly play a ballerina in her spectacular Black Swan role.
In business, when we talk about high performers, we are describing those indispensable employees who consistently go the extra mile, pick up the slack, solve problems proactively, contribute to the organization in extraordinary ways, and always deliver high-impact results.
This fact raises a few questions and concerns around coaching high performers. What do your high performers want to be coached on? How often should you provide feedback? What kind of feedback should you provide during your coaching conversations? And yes, there are many more questions we could ask, but let’s start by answering a few of these questions here.
Your best people, if they intend to stay on top, will not only demand an exceptional level of coaching, they will expect their coaching to address their exceptional needs.
10 things to consider when coaching high performers
- 1. It’s critical that you apply the same rigor and frequency as you would coaching any other performer.
2. High performers are continuous learners. Your job is to provide the relevant training and on-going education.
3. Watch the double-edged sword—their greatest strength may also be their greatest weakness.
4. Provide experiences and cross-training opportunities.
5. Help them build and expand their networks. Expose them to other executives, and help them build alliances across your organization and in your industry.
6. Focus on how they achieve results and at what costs. What are they neglecting in maintaining work/life balance and in other areas?
7. High performers thrive on reinforcement feedback. Do not neglect to thank them for their contributions and to demonstrate real appreciation for how they add value.
8. Review current performance in two ways: 1) what enables their performance in the current role, and 2) what will raise the bar to keep them improving.
9. Dialog about their career goals and aspirations—the knowledge, skills, and experience they may need to move up to the next level in the organization.
10. Invite them to coach you, and ask them what else they need from you to support their high performance.
about coaching your high performers at the next CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Workshop.