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Performance Coaching Using Business DNA

This article applies to leaders and coaches looking to coach participants using natural behavior insights.

Common Questions:  

How can I use these insights for coaching? 

What is your approach to coaching sessions? 

Solution Overview: 

This article provides sample agenda and insightful questions you can use when coaching clients for improved performance. 

Video Walkthrough: 

This video was recorded using the legacy system. There may be reports referenced that are not available in the new system.  If you have questions, please contact support. 


Sample Agenda for client coaching: 

  1. Greetings 
  2. Set Ground Rules – the Agenda – Outline the Process: 
  • Outline how the meeting will proceed, define your approach and process – get the client’s agreement to it 
  • Get permission to take notes (but remember to listen) 

3.  Conduct the DNA Performance Conversation using the DNA Work Life Performance Plan worksheet (participant to have a copy) and DNA Employee Performance Powerful Questions. This is a framework only.   

4. Connect Natural Behavior Discovery Insights to Employee Work-Life Performance: 

  • Ask questions to discover in more depth the work-life issues of the participant and their Performance Success Strengths and Struggles 
  • Ask some “Profile Connection Questions” before specifically de-briefing the Natural Behavior Discovery Report to pulse check the participant’s reaction. 
  • Explain the Natural Behavior Discovery Report structure as needed and discuss specific aspects. Have the participant complete the DNA Work Life Performance Plan with you. 

5.  Further discuss the Natural Behavior Discovery by asking Life and Work Motivations Questions based on the 2 or 3 strongest factors/sub-factors. 

6. Focus on the ongoing Coaching Relationship: 

  • Discuss the Relationship Management Summary  
  • Agree on how to communicate with the participant 
  • Discuss the following steps (and homework if applicable) 

Debrief Points: 

  1. Overview of where the participant is in relation to the 10 unique Work Life Styles. 
  2. Help the participant identify their strongest behavioral factors over 60 and under 40. These behavioral traits are in the top 15% of the population and will typically drive much of their behavior. These behaviors are more fixed or “hard-wired.” 
  3. Explain the scoring structure – 1/3 of the population have scored over 55, 1/3 under 45, and 1/3 is between 45 and 55. Key point: where you are is where 2/3rd’s of the population are not. So as many people will be different from you, adapting your behavior is key to success. 
  4. Emphasize that the report measures natural behaviors only – your natural “go-to” behavior, particularly under pressure, versus learned behaviors that have been developed. 
  5. Address Strengths and Struggles:  
  • Using strengths goes with the “flow” and the source of performance drive.  
  • The key is not to overcome struggles but to be aware of them and manage them. 
  • Struggles are strengths overused and are “blind spots.” 
  • Struggles become a weakness when not managed. 
  • Resistance to the report may be due to not seeing the blind spots and not recognizing the difference between natural and learned behaviors. 

6.   Discovery questions: some participants will note that the online Natural Behavior Discovery assessment was hard to complete in places. This is deliberate and relates to using a forced choice wording structure which makes a person choose between their strongest (often favorite) traits. This is a critical part of our methodology for uncovering natural behaviors.

Facilitating Performance Coaching Session –  

Approach to asking questions generally 

  1. Integrate the Natural Behavior Discovery discussion with the whole meeting agenda 
  2. Interpret the Natural Behavior Discovery Report but do not diagnose the person – Use the report as a guide only 
  3. Ask open-ended questions as far as possible – get the person talking  
  4. Ensure the questions are positive (the negatives will come out) 
  5. If the person does not engage in the discussion, explain the scoring structure so that the client understands how the discovery process works – this will probably invite more discussion. 
  6. Only take the person as far as they are ready to go – observe for negative emotions and road-blocks – check whether the person is in a difficult transition 
  7. If the person gets emotional – give them space 
  8. Respect their space and do not put words in their mouth 
  9. Do not be “didactic” – do not impose a moral intent/slant 
  10. Keep it fun and allow some humor – laughter will build trust 
  11. Document natural behavior discovery discussions 

    Note: Your emotions can be triggered by the client and may cause you to process your own life – this may positively or negatively impact your ability to ask key questions. 

Discovery Connection Questions: 

  1. How do you feel about your Natural Behavior Discovery report? [or What did you think..] 
  2. What was the most accurate part of the report?  
  3. What aspects do you agree with and disagree with? 
  4. What parts of the report do you not understand? 
  5. What is something new the report revealed about you? 
  6. Has the report identified differences with others? 
  7. What do you believe is your greatest behavioral talent? 
  8. What part of your behavioral style do you struggle with most? 
  9. How have you learned to adapt your behavior? 
  10. Have you shown your spouse the report? If so, what do they think? 


Life and Work Motivation Questions: 

  1. Identify dominant scores (under 40, over 60). Direct questions to these dominant scores as this will be where the person’s greatest strengths and struggles are and the “issues.” Consider questions on the following pages for those traits that are the strongest. 
  2. In designing questions, consider the following: 
  • Issues that arise from the interaction of the factors and sub-factors and turn them into questions 
  • Behavioral factor relationships change for: 
  • Business 
  • Career 
  • Family 
  • Life 

Meeting Wrap-up: 

  1. ALWAYS Ask: If I was to be your Coach, how could I best help you? 
  2. Follow on with any of the following: 
  • How will you measure the relationship? 
  • How do you wish to be communicated with? 
  • Where do you want to be versus where you are? 
  • What is the ideal pattern of your decision-making? 
  • What will the accountability process be? 

Here is the link for the Leadership Behavior DNA Book:



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