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Numerical ratings

Table 1 shows that six of the ten clients rated their session as 7.5 or 8 out of 10. Two rated it higher at 9 or 9.5, one at 6 and one much lower at 3.

Table 3 compares the figures in Table 1 in pairs. The codes a to f refer to the key above Table 1.

Table 3: Comparison of Client, Coach and Observer ratings.

Table 3 shows that, generally the coaches and client's ratings were close with eight being within one point of each other (f-a). The two exceptions with larger variations occurred when the client rated the session highest (E at 9.5) or lowest (J at 3).

It was similar picture for the coaches estimate of their client's rating (b-a).

Together, this suggests that the coaches were able to calibrate their clients when the session was 'close to the norm', but they were less able to do so when the client's evaluations were at the extremities.

A comparison of observer and client ratings (d–a) and observer estimate of the client's ratings (c–a) showed a similar pattern to the coach-client comparisons. However, in two instances, the observer ratings of the coach’s skills and the client ratings were at a variance by three or more points (Observer 1 and Observer 3). Interestingly, these were also the sessions where observers most misjudged the client’s ratings (c–a). This shows that even expert's can, on occasion, seriously misjudge the value perceived by the client. (This is inline with the Linder-Pelz & Lawley research)

The coaches seemed to have more difficulty estimating the observer's rating (d–e) than they did the client's rating (b–a). Only four of the coaches estimates were within one point of the observer's rating of them, suggesting some coaches either lack awareness of what the observer is looking for, or are unable to take the observer perspective while (or immediately after) they are coaching.

Client-Rating Criteria

The 45 criteria mentioned by the ten clients and listed in Table 2 were clustered into three group:
28 - 62% - the effect on the client
  8 - 18% - relationship with the coach
  9 - 20% - other coaching skills
Much research suggests that the coaching relationship (or "alliance") is the primary factor in the outcome of coaching. And while this may be so, for these clients at least, it was mentioned a relative low number of times compared to the effect (outcome) on the client.

Penny Tompkins & James Lawley
Penny and James are supervising neurolinguistic psychotherapists – registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy since 1993 – coaches in business, certified NLP trainers, and founders of The Developing Company.

They have provided consultancy to organisations as diverse as GlaxoSmithKline, Yale University Child Study Center, NASA Goddard Space Center and the Findhorn Spiritual Community in Northern Scotland.

Their book,
Metaphors in Mind
was the first comprehensive guide to Symbolic Modelling using the Clean Language of David Grove. An annotated training DVD, A Strange and Strong Sensation demonstrates their work in a live session. They have published over 200 articles and blogs freely available on their website:
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