Chapter 4

Step A of Procoach:
Agree Expected Performance Standards

“The choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself.” OPRAH


A: Agree expected performance standards

Key chapter points

  • Agree with your coachee what is expected, so that they are clear what is required of
  • Have regular discussions about performance standards to reflect your coachee’s developing
  • Include both qualitative and quantitative measures, when agreeing performance


The starting point for our description of the Procoach A-E model, as you might expect, is Step A.

During this step of the Procoach process you define and agree with a coachee what performance standards are required of them. If a role description exists this might form part of your discussion, to communicate and ensure each coachee understands what is expected of them.

It is important to note that although we are describing Step A as the starting point, this is for ease of description. In practice your focus on Step A doesn’t just take place when you first start to coach a member of your team. Instead you would expect to communicate on a regular and ongoing basis, the standards expected of your coachee as they continuously enhance their working practice. These standards might change over time, so you might find it sufficient to reinforce some standards. Others may need to be updated – needing a discussion and agreement with your coachee.

Performance standards for high performing individuals

There are two key elements to setting performance standards. You need to define, communicate and gain commitment to both of these if you want to develop a high performing coachee.

We refer to these elements as the Qual/Quan mix. They include both qualitative and quantitative performance standards, relating to a coachee’s role.

Job Role

Normally captured in a job description this describes the scope of their responsibilities

Used to agree

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Performance standards

Quality and quantity

  • The qualitative standards (skills and knowledge), that define expected working practice.
  • The quantitative standards (normally expressed as KPIs and personal targets/objectives) that describe what performance or activity levels you expect someone to achieve.

Your role as a performance coach in setting expectations

As a performance coach you would:

  • Address any questions or concerns the coachee has about their expected performance.
  • Agree with your coachee the performance standards required of them that:
    • include qualitative and quantitative
    • show objective
    • are linked to business

Although expectations of someone’s performance standards will be specific to the individual, we’ve included some examples here of areas that would potentially be included.

Performance expectations: Sales Consultant

Performance area

Example performance measure

Achieve agreed targets and objectives

Achieve a pipeline to conversion rate of 50%

Meet customer centred key performance indicators

All new enquiries to be directed to the

correct team within 2 minutes

Demonstrate an agreed call quality level,

the structure and behaviours used

Customer needs identified correctly in 95% of calls

Performance expectations: Project Manager

Performance area

Example performance measure

Meet project deadlines, and financial targets

Project margin to be within 5% of that estimated at project start

Handle expected project volumes

Able to manage up to 4 projects without causing project delays

Demonstrate quality within all

written and spoken communications

Instructions to project personnel re-clarified in

no more than 10% of cases

Case Study

David examines how he approached Step A with Emma:

Having reviewed his coaching techniques, David decides to make some notes about how he has used the Procoach A-E process with Emma since she joined the team.

  • Job role: yes, he had given her the standard job description for her role. They had discussed a couple of points on it and Emma was happy with the content.
  • Performance standards: in Emma’s case, David had discussed Emma’s performance during their monthly reviews and they had jointly agreed some performance goals that helped her contribute to the team’s They had agreed some deadlines and also the standard expected of Emma for each of the goals. David had also given Emma the opportunity to discuss how her role and the team’s goals fitted into the company’s wider strategic direction. Therefore she was aware of how her contribution made a difference to business profitability.

Chapter check

What have you learnt from this chapter?

Check your knowledge by answering these questions:

Self-assessment questions

  1. What is the purpose of Step A of Procoach?
  2. Which two elements do you need to define, communicate and gain commitment to, when agreeing performance expectations?
  3. What is your role as a coach, within Step A of Procoach?

Chapter 4 – Summary & Actions

In this chapter we suggested that you should:

  • Agree with your coachee what is expected, so they are clear about what is required of them
  • Have regular, ongoing discussions about performance standards to reflect your coachee’s developing skills
  • Include both qualitative and quantitative measures, when agreeing performance standards

Your action plan

Consider the actions you will take to encourage performance improvement in your team, department or company.

Ask yourself:

  • Do your team members know what is expected of them currently? Are there any areas that you could clarify for each of them?
  • How often do you discuss performance standards with your coachees? Is this sufficient?
  • What measures are currently in place to measure performance standards? Are these both qualitative and quantitative?

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