At the end of a session it is advised that both the Coach and The client ask themselves a question about the effectiveness of the whole meeting. Part of the Criteria for assessment will be the same, some Criteria may be – and most often are – different. The main verifier is the goal that has been set at the beginning of the meeting. The level of its accomplishment determines in the most simple way the extent of the session’s effectiveness. If The client has accomplished his goal, then the session was effective.
However, most often (especially in holistic Coaching) the situation is slightly more complex, because during a session the client may make some discoveries and have insights about himself which have become a lot more important than the goal itself. They may even be only remotely connected with the goal. These insights are about more than just achieving the session’s goal, and concern the client’s effectiveness in a long-distance perspective, or the quality of his life in general. If we treat coaching as an excuse to creating an Environment for the Coachee to work with himself, then the session’s effects may be surprising. All depends of course to what extent is the client prepared for change, how competent is the coach and the stage of the whole coaching process (which session this is, and what goes with it, the level of the client’s Trust and openness) etc.
From the coach’s perspective, it’s worth remembering that coaching is a process spread in time. That is why in many cases it is difficult to evaluate a given session right after it has finished. It’s advisable to give the client time to perform his tasks and to think about his discoveries from the previous session. A mistake often made by many beginning coaches is too hasty an evaluation (most often negative) of their work, right after the session has finished. Most often this is the case when the criteria of evaluation have not been determined precisely (“the session was kind of disappointing, but I don’t really know why”). That is why, firstly, it’s always advisable to consciously formulate the criteria, and secondly, give the client time to think.
The coach should finish each session with a question to the client, or request him to summarise his discoveries and feelings about the session. Only after receiving this answer, can we make a preliminary assessment of our own performance and the progress made by our client.
Se also: Evaluating the coaching effects.