Coaching can have a significant impact on career progression, especially when there is true engagement. Entering into a coaching relationship has been shown to improve work performance, build effective communication skills and, most importantly, reinforce a positive self-perception (or boost your confidence).
Measuring the actual impact of coaching, however, can be more difficult. To better understand the true impact of coaching for an organisation or their staff, it is important to get clear about what is meant by ‘impact’..
When we think about coaching ’impact’, we are essentially talking about change: Change in the individual, change in results, change in performance, change in thinking, change in behaviour. Change is personal; if we rely on a coaching approach which adopts a ‘one size fits all’ principle, we are ill-equipped to tailor our approach to more specific needs.
If we define impact in terms of change and more specifically, the results of change, then how do we measure this change, and what change precisely should we measure?
Real, sustainable change, is a change in thinking and behaviour. When coaches are successful at facilitating this for their clients, it can have a powerful impact.
To understand impact within coaching it is important to also look at outcomes, i.e. what is different as a result of the coaching? With this definition in mind, what we are talking about is change.
Self-perceptions are at the heart of this change. Our self-perception can impact our confidence, motivation, commitment and open-mindedness towards our goals. Coaching can be an effective tool for maximising clients’ potential to reach their goals.
So, if we define impact in terms of change and more specifically, the results of change, then how do we measure this change, and, what change precisely should we measure?
By specifically outlining goals within coaching we identify what a person wants to change. Goal-setting is a more tangible way of measuring the impact of coaching: if a client reaches their goals, e.g. gets a promotion, or the company makes more profit, then the impact of the coaching is clearly measurable.
For coaches, it is important to be clear with their client about what they expect to achieve from coaching. Specifying desired outcomes at the onset is fundamental for both parties to measure how successful the coaching experience has been. If the client reaches their desired outcome, the coaching has had an impact.
However, specifying exact outcomes can yield a better outcome for both client and coach. If a client expresses a desire to improve their communication skills, press for a more specific goal: better communication with whom, what would improved communication look like?
Change is therefore at the heart of impact. The aim of coaching is to leave the client feeling more self-aware and more confident in their own abilities to influence the changes they desire, for themselves, their teams and their organisation. When this happens, we see an impact on results, performance and ultimately, on bottom line profits.
Engage, an online diagnostic tool designed to measure change provides coaches with the appropriate tools to measure the impact coaching has had for clients.
Amongst its many features, one which stands out and which is attracting a lot of attention, is Engage’s unique ability to measure impact.
It does this by capturing the degree of ‘shift’ and ‘change’ over time. This offers a robust and validated way of consistently and accurately measuring coaching impact. Drilling down into those perceptions, which underpin work behaviours, which ultimately drive performance.
If you’d like to find out more about how to measure coaching impact, how Engage works, or how you can become an Engage Accredited Coach, or how to use this within your organisation, please take a look at our webinars, contact us here, or call us on +44 (0)20 3393 2499.