Before passing too quick a judgement on the respondents’ rating of this item, it is important to note that this item might yield high variance scores and relatively low means for several obvious reasons. First, it is hard to understand what is happening moment by moment. This requires that we “slow think” about our “fast thinking.” Are any of us very good at doing this? Second, it might be quite difficult to make a self-assessment regarding something as subtle as moment-to-moment thinking. This item might be rated low and with little agreement because it is hard to grasp. Do any of us really know how to self-rate this item?
Given that the moment-to-moment item might indicate something important about coaching tactics, we must ask what that something important might be. Do the mean and variance scores indicate that coaches in training might not get enough training and/or supervision in the tactics of coaching? Do these results indicate, instead, that these moment-to-moment tactics simply are less important than the softer interpersonal dimensions of coaching? Is it more important to be authentic and empathetic than to be tactical? A further inquiry into the relative importance of soft and hard skills in coaching is warranted.
There are other items in both surveys that yield either low mean scores on both surveys or quite different mean scores on the first and second survey. Furthermore, they tend to yield variance scores that are comparatively high, indicating that respondents do not agree in their self-assessments. These items (from question two) have to do with coaching tools and strategies, and with the theoretical underpinnings of the coaching process: (1) How good is your general theoretical understanding of coaching? and (2) How much mastery do you feel you have of the techniques and strategies involved in the practice of coaching?
As in the case of the moment-to-moment item, these two items might simply be quite challenging for any respondent. “A general theoretical understanding” might readily be declared a large task: what does it mean to have a general understanding of anything? How wide are the boundaries? How deep must we delve into anything to gain an “understanding.” “Mastery” is also a very challenging word. It presents us with a very high bar — when can any of us declare that we are “masters” of anything?