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A Perspective on Evaluation

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Evaluation is an essential component of any change effort. People are curious and interested in what happened and what’s different, hopefully better, as a result. They are already making their own judgments, drawing their own conclusions, and making their own decisions accordingly. As the change agent on site accountable for both coaching delivery and project/process planning and management, we as coaches have the chance to shape the expectations, commitments and data access of the client organization.

Do we want evaluation to be a surprise and an afterthought? Do we want clients to ‘evaluate’ based on anecdote, irrelevant or invalid measures, or impressions? Do we want the organization to base its business decisions on a shaky foundation? I believe we must and can do better. Being a reflective practitioner, active planner and responsive partner about evaluation issues sets the table for mutual benefit. Let’s develop ourselves to be competent or masterful here, too. Grounded, defensible claims about results and trustworthy professional reputations, among other things, are at stake.


Anderson, D.L., & Anderson, M.C. (2005). Coaching that counts. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. [One of the first books to look at evaluation, measurement, business results and the story to be told about the impact of coaching]

Guerra-Lopez, I.J. (2008). Performance evaluation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. [An excellent view of the role, issues, practices, variations and pros/cons of different evaluation methods]

Hale, J. (2002). Performance-based evaluation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer. [An excellent perspective on evaluation issues, considerations and procedures for how to conduct specific methods]

Lazar, J. (2006). Contracting as context for effective coaching. Presentation at ICF European Coaching Conference, Brussels, Belgium. [A perspective on the important role contracting plays in setting context for coaching and related support activities]

Lazar, J.B. (2015a). Measuring your coaching results: Did you satisfy your stakeholders? Invited presentation for ICF Phoenix Chapter monthly meeting, Phoenix, AZ. [A perspective on stakeholders, their perspectives and relevance to evaluation concerns]

Lazar, J.B. (2015b). Telling your coaching impact story: Targeting measurement and stakeholders’ concerns. Invited webinar for ICF Science of Coaching Community of Practice monthly meeting. [A perspective on the issues to anticipate and address so you can tell the relevant story of coaching impact]

Phillips, P.P., Phillips, J.J., & Edwards, L.A. (2012). Measuring the success of coaching. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press/ROI Institute. [A recent publication about evaluation issues and the ROI Methodology as it applies to coaching opportunities]

Phillips, P.P., Phillips, J.J., Stone, R.D., & Burkett, H. (2007). The ROI field book. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. [An excellent resource with guidance and tools for how to conduct an ROI study for any learning and development intervention]

Institute for Generative Leadership: www.generateleadership.com

Newfield Network: www.newfieldnetwork.com

ROI Institute: www.roiinstitute.net

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