Newsletter : June 2010

View From The Hill May 2010

After doing some research this week, I came across the following: ‘Evidence-based’ is a scientific approach whereby professional practice is capable of being justified in terms of sound evidence based upon a process of methodical clinical and industry research, evaluation, and the utilisation of up-to-date systematic research findings to support decisions about practice. Evidence based coaching links theories and research from the behavioral sciences e.g. psychology with coaching best practice. ‘Evidence-based’ coaching is a way of distinguishing professional practice grounded in proven science versus the simplistic, unproven coaching approach popularised by the many coaching associations and coach training providers engaged in mass-marketing to a primarily uneducated marketplace.”

This sort of statement usually had the word “Discuss” after it on exam papers at school – a sure signal to avoid them like the plague!

I can see the distinctions between “Evidence-based” and “Belief-based” coaching, its adversarial counterpart, but surely common sense prevails here. I would argue that all business/executive coaching should be evidence based when related to the context of the above statement. I am also a believer in plain speak, so what does all this mean?

All jobs are measured in terms of quality, cost and time. I usually represent this as a triangle. Look at where the coaching is designed to have an impact and then rank it accordingly. The example below illustrates this perfectly.

We have just completed a large contract of coach training, 400 coaches in 8 weeks, to raise awareness and 30 coaches trained to continue the awareness raising.

Designated impact 1 (Di 1) – Raised awareness in 8 branch offices of a different leadership style utilising coaching. (Quality measure) Designated impact 2 (Di 2) – Develop a group of coaches to take ownership of future training throughout 8 branch offices (Cost measure) Designated impact 3 (Di 3) – Develop a platform to further establish a coaching initiative (Quality & Time measure).

Looking at Di1, we could issue a questionnaire before and after to check the awareness levels of the staff on leadership styles used and coaching techniques deployed. This would give an indication to the baseline and subsequent improvement.

Next looking at Di2, as this is a large organisation (55,000 staff UK wide) the trainers will continue the half-day workshops. This is a simple calculation. We have run 28 workshops for the organisation, the trainers will run the 29th, 30th, 31st etc. The cost saving kicks in on the 29th workshop as they no longer have to pay an external consultant. A simple break-even point would be on workshop 56 (28 delivered by CFM and 28 delivered by the organisation).

Finally Di3, on the quality front, this builds on the initial launch of the coaching initiative. The organisation has already invested in a major launch on coaching –so there are great quality resources and top-level awareness. Our programme complements this and paves the way for the next steps. This should link into the strategy for developing leadership and coaching and can be measured against numbers trained, changes in language used (it should be more specific and focused) and due to coaching before and after training courses, a better transfer of the learning to the workplace. All of which can be measured by simple questionnaires, attitude surveys and communication audits. The time factor is also straightforward.

An 8 week timescale to take the knowledge of the new approach to leadership and coaching to 400 staff, would have taken considerably longer had this been carried out internally and would not have had the initial consistent approach that the organisation wanted (Quality measure).

I think that this pragmatic approach to ‘Evidence – based’ coaching is very useful to any organisation and needs to be used more. As practitioners we have a responsibility to educate organisations to this. If you want to see the complete article that the opening quote came from follow the link


CPD Event – A Place To Develop – Friday 25 June

This is the third meeting of our popular new series of CPD events. You are invited to join us for a very exciting presentation on Team Sociomapping® and Team Profile Analyzer® which is a new evidence-based suite of tools for profiling team characteristics and mapping interpersonal dynamics. Led by Pauline Willis who is a long standing supervisor for the CFM community of coaching practitioners, this stimulating event will help you to discover a new dimension in team analysis and profiling to support your executive and team coaching activities.

Friday 25 June 2010
University of Edinburgh Business School, Bristo Square EH8 9AL
9.15 – 1230 (followed by buffet lunch)
Cost: £10.00 per head

To book a place or register interest email

Your basket

Your cart is empty
cfm consulting on Facebook


CFM is ILM approved
Association for Coaching