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Chapter Ten: Evaluation

Katharine St John-Brooks Karnac Books ePub

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results

Milton Friedman

What this chapter is about

Your internal coaches are doing a great job. Why would you not want to demonstrate that to them, to your sponsors, and to the rest of the business? This chapter looks at evaluation, finding a suitable way of measuring what you and they are achieving and how this adds value to the business. What are you going to measure? Who are you going to ask? How will you collect the information? Will it be quantitative or qualitative? You will ideally need some metrics but without some sense of the clients' experience, the data will be the poorer: success stories do bring a spreadsheet to life.

This chapter explores:

What is evaluation?

Let us distinguish at the outset between monitoring and evaluation. Most lead coaches monitor, in the sense of keeping track of how many live coaching relationships there are. If you have invested in coach management software, this sort of information will be available to you at the click of a mouse. This is about the activity. However, evaluation is about the outcomes: analysing the impact of those coaching relationships on the individual client and more widely on the team or business. There is a wide variety of practice at present, from virtually no evaluation at all to very sophisticated multi-stage evaluation processes, sometimes using external consultancy expertise.

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Chapter Eight: Selection and Training

Katharine St John-Brooks Karnac Books ePub

Those organisations that scrimp on the careful selection, training and supporting of internal coaches run serious risks. Ultimately their greatest risk may be that they undermine the perception of coaching as a learning tool because of the lack of credibility of their internal coaches

Hunt & Weintraub, 2006, p. 4

What this chapter is about

Generally it is the responsibility of the lead coach to select people with the potential to make good internal coaches and provide them with the right length, depth, and scope of training to enable them to do a good job.

This chapter explores:

Selection

Routes to identifying potential coaches

The method you use to recruit your coaches will depend on a number of factors, including how many coaches you need; for what purpose; and how much resource you have at your disposal for running the recruitment process. One tip offered by experienced lead coaches is to select and train more coaches than you initially think you need to allow for an inevitable process of attrition. Some coaches will fall by the wayside during training; some may not make the grade; some may be made redundant from their day job soon after they complete their training; some may move to a new, very heavily loaded role and no longer have time for their coaching role. If you train your coaches as a cohort then the unit cost of adding a few additional trainees may be fairly low.

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Chapter Seven: Building the Organisational Framework

Katharine St John-Brooks Karnac Books ePub

If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you do not know what you're doing

W. Edwards Deming

What this chapter is about

One of the lead coaches I interviewed as part of research for this book mentioned that if a supervisor for one of his coaches were unavailable, internal coaches would come to him if they had an ethical dilemma to talk through. I queried whether this arrangement was covered in the coach's initial contracting with the client, and he realised that it probably was not. In the contracting conversation, the coaches only talked about sharing information with the coach's supervisor, not with the lead coach. Potentially, these situations could lead to a breach of confidentiality and need to be thought through.

When using internal coaches, issues can arise that are beyond the scope of individual contracting. You need some corporate policies and processes. This chapter offers some thoughts for drafting these, and for communicating with the rest of the business. While you will not want to build an unnecessary edifice of documents, there are a number of considerations to take into account when setting up the organisational framework. This chapter covers:

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Chapter Three: Recognising Ethical Dilemmas

Katharine St John-Brooks Karnac Books ePub

Life was much simpler when my biggest dilemma in life was deciding what Pop-Tart to eat for breakfast

—Unknown

What this chapter is about

What would you do if you smelt alcohol on your client's breath at ten o'clock in the morning? Or your client wants to discuss a difficult relationship with a colleague who happens to be a close friend of yours? An understanding of coaching ethics and the ability to apply them appropriately is fundamental to being a coach. This chapter explores:

What are “ethical dilemmas”?

Perhaps it is first worth examining the term ethical dilemmas. I am aware that there is something about the word ethical that can make people switch off. If you were to say to a roomful of coaches: “Let's talk about ethics in coaching” you would get a very different response than if you were to say: “Let's discuss what you might do if your coaching client let drop that they had resumed recreational use of cocaine.” As Judit Varkonyi-Sepp put it in her report on the eighth annual conference of the British Psychological Society's special group in coaching psychology (Varkonyi-Sepp, 2013): “The word ‘ethics’ might send shivers down one's spine thinking about this as an abstract, boring, legislation-filled dry topic, but it is not…Ethics is everywhere in what we do and it was a light bulb moment to recognise how very practical it is” (p. 108).

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Appendix

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