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Measuring the results – and integrity – of coaching in today’s world

Coaching is an effective way to help leaders achieve business objectives and improve productivity and performance. The coaching industry is estimated globally at $2.4 billion annually, suggesting that organizations and individuals see value in coaching as a service.

Measuring the integrity and results of coaching today But there is one issue both coaches and client organizations are confronting: how do we really know the value?

There are ways to quantify the return on coaching, and I will get to one way of doing that shortly.

Dr. Bill Howatt
Dr. Bill Howatt Chief Learning Officer Vision Coaching

As with anything, you get what you put into it. And in our business, that rings true for all involved – the coach, the person being coached, as well as the client organization. It works, and works well, as long as there is commitment.

After 20-plus years in the coaching industry, I often hear when working in large organizations is that the coaching starts off well – regular weekly sessions are the norm. But by the time four months rolls along, that has dwindled to just once a month. Calls are frequently rescheduled, and the coaching routine is now careening off the rails.

I’m spending more time ensuring that employers who have adopted coaching are engaged at the organizational level – that managers and HR leaders remain a part of the journey.  If they are not, it may not succeed.

But commitment is just one part of the picture.

As an industry, we have to be sure our clients see the value of the service we provide. And for a business world increasingly reliant on numbers and process to judge value, that can be hard to do.

Ensuring Effective Coaching

At Vision Coaching, we created the V1 Coaching System to help with that. The system helps ensure effective coaching. Among other advantages, it helps ensure a stronger match between coach and coachee, it tracks progress along the coaching journey and it can even calculate a return on your coaching investment.

In essence, it helps ensure that the coach and coachee are both held accountable for progress and their results are measured. That way, managers and leaders receive great insight into the coaching journey and can feel assured it is effective and valuable – or corrected if it isn’t shaping up that way.

Coaching works. It is a valuable leadership development tool. It can create greater engagement and better outcomes. But leaders and organizations would be wise to ensure that any coaches they engage are committed to the principles of integrity-based coaching.

Integrity-based coaching 

It is important for coaches to adopt an integrity-based mindset, and remain committed to the principle that coaching is first and foremost about helping.

There are seven principles of integrity-based coaching:

  1. Show up for sessions on time. 
  2. Be prepared for sessions.
  3. Be willing to hold coachees accountable for their defined goals.
  4. Obtain ongoing feedback on the value and benefits of the coaching process for the coachee.
  5. Be fully engaged in the coaching process.
  6. Never accept payment unless you’re confident you added value.
  7. Be honest if you’re not engaged or interested in coaching a client – stop coaching if it isn’t working.

The coaching industry’s perceived value is defined by one client experience at a time. Coaching isn’t about a monetary transaction – it’s about supporting professionals to achieve transitions, growth and measurable outcomes.

All of us who are interested and involved in coaching want to know that our actions will contribute to how coaching is perceived.

When Dave Veale and I created the V1 Coaching System, our most important consideration was creating an integrity-based model that was transparent and measurable, and one which holds coaches and clients accountable. 

It is a powerful tool for keeping both on track and engaged.

Commitment to Succeed

But we know coaching is not for everyone. Like anything else, it takes commitment to succeed. And it may just not be there, or it may just not be the right time.

Vision Coaching takes an interesting approach here. Before beginning a coaching engagement, Dave and his team go through a methodical assessment to ensure the individuals to be coached are open and ready for coaching, and to make certain there is a “best fit” match between the individual and the coach….and there is no charge if a match can’t be made.

Integrity pays off.

Dr. Bill Howatt, President of Howatt HR Consulting and Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity, for the Conference Board of Canada, is Chief Learning Officer of Vision Coaching Inc.

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