Strategies for Evaluating the Application of Coaching

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Evaluating how coaching clients acted upon the insights gained from

coaching and applied what they learned to the workplace presents

some special challenges. First of all, the insights and learnings are

unique to each coaching client. This is a different situation than, say,

a leadership training program where everyone receives the same

experience. Next, the insights and the issues being addressed are

often private and not for general consumption. Coaching clients

have to feel comfortable in sharing their issues and experiences. In

the previous two chapters we talked about the importance of allowing

each client to tell a story about his or her experiences. The same

consideration applies here as well. Evaluating application really boils

down to having the client tell a story and then analyzing this story

in more detail.

There are three primary ways to capture the client’s story and

evaluate the application of coaching:

1. Personal interviews

2. Group surveys

3. Focus groups

Personal Interviews

The most effective approach for collecting data on application is the

one-to-one interview, which can be done in person or over the telephone.

The interviewer can capture data in the client’s, or respondent’s,

own words and has the ability to probe areas of interest. The

interviewer can establish some level of rapport with the respondent

and create an environment where the respondent feels comfortable

in sharing personal information. The additional probing enables

more data to be captured and data that are more in-depth and of

higher quality than other means. While this method is the most

effective, it is also the least efficient of the three data collection

methods, and therefore, the most costly. Because of this factor,

clients often turn to other, more efficient methods.