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Grounding Professional Coaching Practice with Positive Assessments of Emotional Intelligence

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Instrument Reliability

The reliability of an instrument is important for several reasons and how reliable an instrument needs to be depends on application. For many applications, Cronbach’s alpha (α) correlation coefficients in the range of .70 -.80 are sufficient (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2018). On the other hand, for use in clinical settings or to make employment decisions a reliability of .90 might not be considered reliable enough.  According to Kaplan and Saccuzzo (2018), “For a test used to make a decision that affects some person’s future, evaluators should attempt to find a test with a reliability greater than .95” (p. 123).  The authors of the SCALE® caution against using their instruments for any purpose other than what they were intended, and they were designed as a way for helping professionals to engage clients in meaningful conversations about themselves (Nelson et al., 2016). The EILS instruments have been used successfully since the 1970s in this way by a myriad of professionals including teachers and instructors in secondary and post-secondary education settings, counselors, personal coaches, professional trainers, and others.  The internal reliability alphas are reported for each SCALE® and each Emotional Skills Assessment Process® (ESAP®) scale in Table 3.  The ESAP®, another of Nelson and Low’s positive assessment instruments, has demonstrated construct validity for measuring emotional intelligence, and the reason for including it in this article is to demonstrate concurrent construct validity for SCALE®.

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