Have you ever looked into your effectiveness as a coach? Have you ever wondered what effective coaching looks like, and what an effective coach does?
If you’re an ICF coach – credentialed, in training, or simply following their framework – it’s unlikely you have.
Not because the ICF doesn’t care about effectiveness, but because the word effective only appears once in the competencies model (when it comes to communication). On the other hand, the words effective and effectiveness (and its variations) appear more than 20 times in the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) Global Competence Framework document.
It’s time to look at what is underneath coaching effectiveness to better understand it and to learn how to measure it.
WHAT IS COACHING EFFECTIVENESS?
Coaching effectiveness is the ability of the coach to support clients achieve their goals, create behavioural change and new insights, as well as facilitate sustainable change in their life; all that within the coaching space they contracted for with their clients, and in a timeframe that respects the client’s pace, needs, and awareness.
The more effective a coach is, the more value they’re able to deliver to their clients in a short period of time.
What’s time got to do with effectiveness? The skills and abilities of the coach should not be a factor that slows down the process of discovery and insights for the client. If they negatively impact it (even subtlety), it means the coach probably has some gaps that are affecting the effectiveness of the coaching they deliver.
WHY YOU SHOULD MEASURE YOUR COACHING EFFECTIVENESS
Measuring your coaching effectiveness is a way to look at your practice, assess it objectively, and take action to bring your competence to a level where you can deliver great coaching to your clients.
It has several purposes.
The first one is obviously for your clients. When you are an effective coach, you utilise all of your abilities to deliver the best coaching you can. It doesn’t mean you are the best coach ever – it just means you are doing everything in your power to strive towards that ideal and demonstrate it in sessions.
The second purpose is developmental. Evaluating your coaching effectiveness allows you to identify blind spots in your practice that hinder the quality of the service you provide. It’s a tool for self-learning and professional development. It enables you to focus your continuing coach education on what matters to the coaching process,.
HOW TO START MEASURING IT
For this to be successful, it needs to be systematic – meaning you need to first think about what you will track, how you will track it, and how often you will collect the data.
Here’s how you can design your process of assessing coaching effectiveness:
- Defining what coaching effectiveness means to you: take the definition we shared at the beginning of this article and make it yours.
- Break down this definition into a list of items that you would need to assess your effectiveness.
- For each item, decide how you will collect the data. For example, if you want to track the time factor, you may decide to start asking your clients if they think the length of the coaching engagement was adequate, too short or too long.
- Once you know what to collect, you simply need to create the tools that you will allow you to do that. In the example above, that means adding a question related to the length of the coaching engagement in your client feedback form.
This is very likely going to be a process that will take some time and that you will review on a regular basis before you get it right. We would advise you to put your reflections about coaching effectiveness in a document you can go back to easily.
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Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash