Research Paper By Catherine A. Oleksiw
(Transformational Coaching, UNITED STATES)
Coaching is goal-oriented and action-based. Taking action, being accountable for those actions and sustaining that change over time are principal outcomes. Throughout the coaching process, the client determines the direction while the coach lends encouragement to the client in discovering new ways of thinking and feeling for the purpose of exploring new approaches and frameworks, that, in turn, lead to committing to action steps and, therein, positive change. Of interest and concern to a coach is the commitment of the client to the action and the underlying goals.
How can a coach assess the progress of their clients and the overall effectiveness of the coaching? What evaluation model or tools are available to track and measure client success and coaching efficacy? Information (or data) on the coaching process can support the continuous improvement of coaching and inform the modification of coaching methodologies so they better address client need. For a one-person coaching practice, any evaluative process needs to be simple and not time-consuming. A more detailed sophisticated approach for measuring the efficacy of the coaching practice, especially in the corporate setting and requiring a more in-depth analysis of return on investment can be found in Philips, Phillips, & Edwards (2012) or Kirkpatrick (2006). The objective of this research paper is to present a straightforward simple method for monitoring progress of the individual client through the coaching process. The evaluative tool discussed is the logic model which is widely used in the program evaluation field. The G.R.O.W. Coaching Model is presented as the primary illustration.
A coaching model is a framework for guiding the coach in the coaching process; however, it is not a formula for how to coach. The coach uses the model strategically in order to best respond to the coaching situation. There are innumerous coaching models that are used in the field such as the G.R.O.W. model (Whitmore, 2009) and the Achieve Coaching model (Dembkowski & Eldridge, 2006). Using a coaching model establishes a purpose for the coaching, in general, and for each session, in particular. Most coaching models or approaches share common elements: 1) the establishment of a relationship based in trust, communication, and confidentiality; 2) the formulation of client-based goals and expectations; and 3) a powerful questioning and learning dynamic in relation to those goals (Cortes, Jean Paul, 2012). All coaches do not adhere to any one coaching model; however, raising client awareness of their self-beliefs in order to deepen understanding and to increase the capacity to assume responsibility for personal change is an essential requisite in the coaching space. With deepened awareness, the client can better formulate and set goals for personal growth.
The Logic Model as a Framework to Organize and Monitor Outcomes
Used by evaluators worldwide to provide a framework for assessing programs and projects, the logic model is a planning and monitoring tool that focuses on key objectives and desired program outcomes. In the coaching context, the logic model can be applied at the coaching practice level across clients or at the client level to assess client progress and growth. A logic model maps the sequence of related activities believed to bring about change and links these activities to results or outcomes; it is a
picture of how… [the] program will work (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2004, p. 1)
or how program activities will ultimately lead to change. Logic models typically use table and flow chart formats to graphically organize program components, activities, and results providing “a series of connections that link problems and/or needs [being addressed] with the actions [to be taken] to obtain …outcomes” (Chinman, Imm, & Wandersman, 2004, p. 5). A logic model
shows the logical relationships among the resources that are invested, the activities that take place, and the benefits or changes that result (University of Wisconsin-Ext., 2003).
The value of a logic model is in the “If…Then” logic inherent in the layout of the components. If Activity A is done with fidelity, then Outcome A will result. Using this chain of reasoning, planned work can be linked to intended results. If necessary resources are available and program activities are implemented with fidelity, then outputs and outcomes will follow. Engaging in developing a logic model can be a learning process,
a conscious process that creates an explicit understanding of the challenges ahead, the resources available, and the timetable in which to hit the target (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2004, p. iii).
A logic model can be used a) during planning to identify appropriate outcome targets and assess the potential effectiveness of an approach; b) during implementation, to provide an inventory of what is needed to operate the program, allow for mid-course adjustments to avoid unintended effects, and provide an indication if the program is working; and c) for evaluation to document accomplishments and how resources were utilized (The Community Tool Box, n.d.)
Components of the Logic Model
The development of a logic model begins with establishing the overall purpose of the program and the need that the program addresses for a target population. For coaching, this might refer to the typical client to which the coaching services are marketed within a particular niche. At the onset, determining purpose and need often requires conducting a needs assessment to identify and prioritize the factors to be addressed. These factors are used to direct the development of program goals and objectives and strategies. Goals are client-focused and describe the desired condition or intended change of the target population.