We're in an exciting time for coaching and development. Gone are the days where you get feedback once a year in an annual performance review because many businesses are now opting for lightweight, engaging, and effective coaching and development tools like TINYpulse Coach.


But it isn't always easy to change decades-old management processes, so read on for a few best practices to help you as an employee transition to real-time, feedback-based coaching and development practices.


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1. Write SMART goals


SMART Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They clarify objectives so there are no questions about what success looks like. The backbone of Coach is to have everyone setting, tracking, and achieving goals to continue growing as an individual and a company.


Goals should be written SMART as often as possible so there’s no ambiguity. As an employee, you’re likely to have a few team goals from your leaders. These goals are designed to ensure the success of the company, but you also should have some personal goals to track progress towards your own career objectives. Personal goals can be anything from developing a skill to completing a project. Make sure your personal goals are also SMART and work with your direct manager to set these objectives. 


SMART goal example


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2. Set aside 8-10 minutes per evaluation cycle


Timeboxing is a term used in agile software development which means putting strict time boundaries around an activity. When the time limit is up, you finish working whether you’re done or not. When you set a time box, you’re more motivated to finish tasks efficiently because you know you’re working against a clock.


When using TINYpulse Coach, only allow yourself 8-10 minutes each cycle to evaluate performance. This limitation will motivate you to work quickly and efficiently to document your work and build out your performance portfolio without wasting too much time of your day


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3. Reflect on performance regularly 


Coach is a tool that gives you as an employee a lot of opportunities to get what you need to continually grow in your career. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve felt like you're stuck and don't know what you need to do to get promoted or achieve your goals? Thanks to Coach, you now have a dedicated tool to work with your leaders and get the coaching you need to rise up.


Through regular performance evaluations and 1:1 meetings facilitated by Coach, you can have regular opportunities to document the great work you’ve done and to get the support you need from your leader.


There are three steps to the Coach evaluation process:


  1. Rate your goals (optional)
  2. Write some details to document what you've done and what you're planning to do to achieve these goals
  3. Identify any roadblocks to progress


Your notes here in Coach should serve as a starting point for your regular 1:1 meetings with your leader so be sure to be thorough and transparent to get the most out of these discussions!


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Read more about the Coach goal rating process


4. Read your manager’s feedback before your 1:1 discussions


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Both you and your manager will go through a similar rating process for your goals. This two-way conversation promotes transparency and exposes roadblocks early on. Before your 1:1 meeting, coordinate with your manager so you both can input comments and coaching tips on your goals to facilitate a productive discussion.


Take look at all your manager’s feedback before the 1:1 meeting and make a list of items that you have questions about or just want to discuss. Keep in mind that Coach isn’t a tool to replace face to face conversation; it’s a tool to facilitate it. You don’t have to come to the meeting with a full agenda, but you should come prepared to be productive rather than it being a one-sided conversation.


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5. Get feedback


Another great way to continually improve is through qualitative feedback provided by people you work with. Use Coach's 360 Feedback tool to request feedback from colleagues, cross-functional partners, even clients and external parties to get their thoughts on how you can improve. 


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