Coaching Evaluation (2021): 9 Methods For Better Results

10 min read

Your clients’ plans and goals are never static because development and change are not linear. Goals will change and evolve during any coaching relationship.

Coaching evaluations are systematic tools to survey the outcome and merit of effective coaching practices and skills.

Here are 9 methods for better results with coaching evaluation resources to monitor and identify the effectiveness and success of your coaching skills.

Let’s dive right into it.

1. Knee Jerk Reaction

When we get negative feedback, we’re inclined to reply immediately.

That’s normal behavior; we’re emotional human beings. The point is to make a conscious effort to listen in order to understand, not to defend.

Understanding the other person’s perspective can help us uncover our blind spots as the coach, which are, shortcomings we can’t see for ourselves. It’s impossible to be self-aware 100% of the time.

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2. Importance of Relationship

Having a professional rapport in the coaching business is one of  the key tools to the process. When we haven’t established rapport with the client, trust is not mutual, or we don’t believe they’re credible enough to give us that feedback in the first place.

It’s also okay to accept feedback but not act on it. If you sense it’s been exceptionally triggering emotionally, and could affect a relationship, ask them for more feedback to gain clarity. You might identify a few actionable gold nuggets in what they say.

3. Identity Crisis

Aside from Impostor Syndrome, the Covid-19 pandemic has potentially exacerbated low self-worth feelings, especially if you had to change course in your coaching.

Challenges can be seen as opportunities to be curious, learn and improve. Add more training to your knowledge and develop new skills. Feeling supported with your network and having a good manager, coach, mentor, or advocate offers real benefits for wellbeing, performance and success. 

In other words, encouragement and kindness beget greatness.

Coaching Evaluation
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

4. Ambivalence Vs Ambiguity

It’s okay to be ambivalent (on-the-fence) shortly after receiving feedback or to pause for introspection and digest that feedback. It’s not okay, however, to be ambiguous in giving feedback. 

Your feedback through coaching evaluation is offering support so you want to be as clear and concise with comments as you can.

5. Lost In Translation

People rarely offer their direct observations as feedback. This leaves the interpretation up to conjecture. They may first interpret them in a personal way based on their own experiences, values, assumptions and biases, and it won’t deliver the impact that was intended.

For example, instead of saying, “Mark told me you’re often too busy to help”, someone might translate that into “You’re not a team player”. 

6. Upstream Vs Downstream Thinking

Imagine two patrol officers in your community, one positioning herself ahead of a road curb so motorists going by can see her from afar and have time to slow down.

The other officer is stationed after the curb and hidden from view, so when motorists speed by, he gives them a speeding ticket. By the end of the day, one has given 0 speeding tickets and the other 100. 

If their evaluations are only done by the number of tickets given, one is better than the other. However, this evaluation doesn’t consider the number of potential accidents prevented and the lives saved by making people slow down in the first place. 

This is called upstream versus downstream thinking. It’s simpler to evaluate peoples’ performance in situations that have happened and have a visible, measurable impact. 

7. Walking On Egg-Shells

Most professional people receive feedback in coaching well. They learn and improve in their business or organizations.

However, a small minority will display a persistent refusal to feedback. Communicating with these folks feels like walking on egg-shells: we’re tiptoeing in fear of triggering them.

When this happens, and we’re satisfied we’ve made appropriate efforts, the question becomes not how to provide more/better feedback but whether that leader’s uniqueness and brilliancy are worth breaking the team’s psychological safety and everyone’s wellbeing. 

If the answer is yes, then be aware that time is required to coach the team to understand and support that person. If the answer is no, because of external pressures, then perhaps it’s best to help that individual transition to another team or organization where they can have a different opportunity to succeed.

8. Frequent Feedback

As a rule of thumb, more frequent, directionally correct but incomplete coaching feedback outperforms more detailed and accurate but less frequent feedback.

This means that consistency and iteration are what makes feedback for coaches good and helps support the value of an organization’s investment. 

9. Good Directionality

This means evaluating someone and telling them whether they are heading in the right direction or they should change course.

Good directionality implies being specific and explicit. That’s the opposite of leaving people wondering, “Is this good? Is this bad? Is this passive-aggressive? How am I supposed to translate this into practice?”. 

How Do You Evaluate A Coaching Session?

Asking coaching evaluation questions at the end of coaching sessions or programs helps the client anchor the benefits of coaching with you.

They also give you valuable feedback on how effective your coaching has been and where improvements could be made. 

1. Impact

How significant was the change in the achievement of the overall goal?

2. Benefit

How does the coaching impact compare with the desires and wants of the client? And in relation to the investment of time and money?

3. Efficiency

How are the sessions and training changed into actions and results?

4. Effectiveness

How far are the single steps being taken to achieve the desired results?

5. Relevance

How are the results in line with the wants, implications, and ambitions of the client?

6. Sustainability

To what extent can the optimistic changes be expected to last after coaching has ended? Does follow-up training make sense?

7. Session Review

Mid-way between monitoring the process and coaching self-evaluation have a session review.

What method or tool worked exceptionally well and had the biggest impact? What opportunities have you found to be of value to others in your team or organizations?

When thinking of ways of evaluating the effectiveness of the coaching outcomes it’s good to start at the beginning of a coaching relationship and not when it’s almost over.

Evaluation is a systematic and objective assessment of the implementation and outcome of an on-going or completed intervention.

The effectiveness of your coaching service is measurable through your knowledge, skills training and performance graph. How well the coaches are training you can be evident through evaluating your skills developed.

The main point is to ask open-ended questions that require more than just a “yes” or “no” answer about your coaching services. They get the client to elaborate.

For example: “What new strengths can you see you have developed from your coaching experience?” can get your client’s engagement in realizing and acknowledging changes and achievements they may not have recognized or acknowledged before. 

How Do You Evaluate The Impact Of Coaching?

Measuring the value of an investment is important to us all. If we spend a lot of money on a new car we want to know that the car works, and it will get us from A to B or even enhance our quality of life.

Similarly, if a business invests thousands of dollars in a new piece of machinery or in a coaching or training program to improve staff performance, then they will want to know how much value it is adding to the business compared with the cost of the investment.

Actually measuring the impact of a leader’s growth can be tough. For example, how does an organization measure the potential improvement of a leader’s influence on her team if she learns to stop belittling them?

Or how leaders who elevate their executive presence will make a bigger contribution to the organizational structure? Or how much improving communication will affect the profitability of a company?

Here are three key steps organizations can take to simplify the measurement process.

1. Be Specific

What exactly does the organization want to change? If that change is successful, what data will give the quantifiable outcome? Now put a dollar amount to the change.

2. Be Clear With The Leaders/Coachees About Expectations

Specify the new behaviors and outcomes desired. It’s not enough to answer “improve communication”. With whom? To what end?

What does the improvement look like? What specific behaviors are required? How will the organization know the change has been made?

3. Follow Through

Engagement with appropriate people in the organization to observe and report on behavior change. An observer could be an HR business partner, a mentor of the leaders being coached, managers, or a member of the board.

Ensure these observers are clear on expectations and outcomes. As the coach, provide tools, resources, and information on how to measure outcomes.

Leaders or managers need eyes and ears in the organization, as well as their coach, to help ensure changes made are on target to meet organizational expectations.

Evaluation is vital to define if your coaching’s on track to comprehend “what works” and find out if the coaching is meeting the predictable changes and impacts.

Every client is an individual and regardless of how good the coaching process is, it’s in the nature of coaching that different clients get different things out of your service. 

This has a really big impact on evaluation, in that no set absolute criteria for results in behavior can be established across all your clients. This fact makes the combination of monitoring, engagement and evaluation such a powerful tool for offering high-quality coaching.

How Do You Write A Feedback For Coaching?

Feedback is information meant to help us orient ourselves in the world, not only in the workplace.

​​Checking for common understanding also eliminates anxiety. It’s a good practice to ask for feedback about feedback, to understand how the message is received. That’s because often, people mistake coaching with evaluation.

For example, saying, “There’s no personal judgement behind this question, just help me understand.” or “This is not an evaluation. I intend to offer you a bit of mentoring. Is my intention coming across clear or should I focus elsewhere? Is this what you hear as well?”

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During 1:1’s there’s a three step method that works very well to give feedback.

1. Establish Rapport

How are you? And how is your family? How are things at work?

2. Make People Mindful of Today

What’s on your mind today? And what else?

3. Appreciate, Coach, or Evaluate

Make explicitly clear which one you’re asking for engagement on.

Guidance for brief evaluation and feedback at regular intervals just to make sure the process is moving forward as intended.

1. Review How Things Have Gone So Far

What are you most proud of? What opportunities have you found to help others in your team?

2. Talk About New Learnings

What have you improved based on your learnings so far?

3. Find Opportunities For Improvement or Talk About What’s Next

What could you improve over the next three months?

Some good opportunities for feedback are:

  • For individual accomplishments or improvements
  • When a project or session is in progress
  • When a project or session has finished successfully
  • When a project or session has seemed to fail

Coaching Evaluation Form

Here is a Coaching Evaluation Form as an example with the link below.

Coaching Evaluation Example

You can individualize your coaching self evaluation form to feature what you see as important in your own performance as a coach.

Some things to keep in mind as an example:

  • Make a list of the coaching behaviors you believe contribute to a good coaching performance. For example, one may be “Focused listening to my clients”.
  • Edit the list to include your top 10-15 behaviors.
  • Formulate this list into a series of statements to which you will be able to award yourself a number ranking according to how you assess your performance e.g. “I listened astutely to my client”.
  • Assign your list a number ranking system that you feel most comfortable with e.g. 1 to 5 or 1-10.
  • If you like, at the bottom of the form, include a space for an aggregate ranking score.

End your evaluation form with the following two questions:

  • One thing that I did really well during this session was…
  • One thing that I want to remember for next time is…

Life Coaching Evaluation

Monitoring a client’s progress can significantly improve the long-term success rate of your clients as well as the quality and effectiveness of your coaching.

You can share questionnaires and tools to let your clients track and trace their experiences and thoughts on a regular basis. Doing this it is very effective to evaluate the single steps during the coaching process.

It also helps your clients and their organizational team to realize the progress they make with every session and to stay focused on their goals. They train for self-awareness and share their experiences in real-time with you.

Evaluating the effectiveness and progress of coaching can be done in a matter of minutes. 

The understanding of their process, habits, and challenges is the key to long-term success. Successful coaching clients are your key to word of mouth, referrals and a thriving coaching business.

It is important that this information is collected in a planned, organized and routine way (daily/weekly) and in a shared space where both the coach and the client have access at any time.

Monitoring the impact of coaching programs can answer questions such as:

  • How well is the client doing? (performance, action, implementation)
  • Are we doing the right things/steps? (any deviation, roadblock, something that doesn’t work as expected)
  • Reflect on the impact coaching has made in your life? (client will see her progress and get a clear picture of the process)

To manage the development of goals and plans it’s important to monitor the performance and make evaluations ongoing. This helps to easily determine whether a shift in action and additional guidance are required.

Coaching Evaluation Sheet

Consciousness is the key to successful practices.

Coaching evaluation questions are a great way to receive welcomed feedback about your coaching performance, skills and development as well as a fabulous tool to help get testimonials from your clients.

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Finally, remember to be realistic about when to measure the results of coaching interventions. Fundamental step changes in individual behaviors take time – this kind of transformation doesn’t happen overnight.
If this article has value for you as a coach or as a client, please consider forwarding ✅ this on to a friend or business partner who might also benefit.

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