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A Perspective on Evaluation

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I have a point of view about evaluation. I think it’s important for us, as coaches and consultants. It’s also important to our clients and client organizations. The reasons have to do with what are our respective concerns. My perspective is based on my learning experiences with ontological SMEs Fernando Flores, Julio Olalla and Bob Dunham, and evaluation SMEs Jack and Patty Phillips, Judith Hale and Ingrid Guerra-Lopez. In addition, it’s based on simply being human, with our predilections for making assessments all the time. This article will take a closer look at evaluation from four perspectives: evaluation and what it is and does; stakeholders and their relationship to evaluation efforts; measurement and how it can support evaluation efforts; and contracting and its role in evaluation efforts.


As human beings, we make assessments about things that are relevant to us, things that impact our concerns and affect our future. We have concerns about the direction and shape of our future. We will make decisions we believe will enhance that future.  For example, when I select a conference to attend, I choose it for the sake of what matters to me and how I believe the conference will contribute (best) to me.

Other things being equal, my decisions will be more effective when I base them on the evidence from reliable, valid and relevant data. The quality of my evaluation will impact the quality of my decisions. This is the same for you, too. So two essential ingredients for making evaluations are some concern to take care of and some basis to make a choice among alternatives. As it is true for us, so it is true for the stakeholders regarding the coaching work we do.


As human beings, we have multiple cares, concerns and commitments we take care of as we go through our daily activities. Some of those are personal. Others may be related to our professional roles in our organizations. When we coach someone, we call anyone impacted by the coaching results a stakeholder. In organizational settings, there are several stakeholders for our work: the coaching client (coachee), their manager, perhaps the manager’s manager, Human Resources and, of course, us. There might be other stakeholders as well, such as the client’s direct reports, fellow team members or external customers.

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