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Blog > How to Know if You’re Making Progress with Your Career Coach

How to Know if You’re Making Progress with Your Career Coach

Metrics that go beyond benchmarks
Businesswoman after career coaching

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Whether you’ve been working with a career coach for a while now, or you’re considering whether to make the investment, you might be asking yourself: how do I know if the coaching is successful? It simply isn’t worth investing the time, effort, or money into working with a career coach if the guidance they provide isn’t effective or impactful.

So how do you know if your work with a coach is really having the impact on your life you were hoping for? And what do you do if the process isn’t meeting your expectations? It all starts with evaluating your success as you would any other area of your life, by looking at the data.

Just as you would gauge professional success based on quantitative metrics, you can also look at your coaching relationship in the same way. Identifying your goals for success and defining the metrics you want to track within your coaching experience will allow you to communicate those expectations to your coach which will allow them to serve you better. It will also help you, as the client, evaluate whether or not a coaching service meets your needs.

Here, we’re covering the essential metrics you can use to determine whether your investment in coaching is successful and what to do to get it back on track if it isn’t.

Setting Key Metrics to Measure Coaching Success

Wherever you are in your coaching journey, if you haven’t yet clarified and prioritized the goals and objectives for your coaching relationship, it’s time to do so, or at the very least, revisit them. Think about why you decided to invest in the coaching experience in the first place. What skills or traits were you hoping to develop? What goals were you hoping to reach?

While every coaching journey is different when it comes to assessing progress and performance, it all comes down to setting specific goals and targets. As a leader, this might involve assessing your leadership competencies and skills. A few areas you could discuss with your coach are:

  • Leadership abilities: How have my leadership skills truly improved? What changes in my teams am I seeing as a result?
  • Decision-making abilities: How has my ability to make decisions more quickly and with greater success improved? What are the results I’m seeing?
  • Communication skills: In what ways have my communication skills changed since I started coaching? How can I continue to improve them?
  • Conflict resolution skills: Have I managed to decrease conflict overall in my interpersonal relationships as well as within my team?
  • Relationship-building skills: In what ways have my professional relationships gotten stronger and more valuable now than they were before I began coaching?

As you think about these metrics, go beyond simply answering whether you and your coach have been successful in reaching your goals with a simple “yes” or “no.” Ask those around you for feedback as well. What does your team think? What does your coach think? Do they feel as if they’ve seen progress in your performance?

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A Note on Self-awareness

Oftentimes the changes and transformations one experiences working with a coach are immeasurable. One example of an immeasurable change is self-awareness. If one of your coaching goals was to achieve a higher level of self-awareness, you may have difficulty accurately assessing your progress within this area. There are other ways you can assess whether you’re seeing growth in self-awareness or if it’s an area that still needs improvement. Continue to reflect on this with your coach and work together to determine how you will define improved self-awareness.

After You’ve Set Your Key Metrics

Once you’ve adopted some of the common coaching metrics mentioned above, keep an eye on the data. Conduct periodic evaluations of your progress toward achieving your coaching goals and track that progress over time. With your coach as your accountability partner, you should both monitor your ongoing development, including the progress you’ve achieved on your own, beyond the coaching relationship.

Continuous improvement is always the long-term goal, which means regular assessments are crucial. You may find that, in certain stages of your career, or as your career needs evolve, your coaching strategies and goals evolve as well. Continue getting feedback from others around you and revisit these conversations regularly with your coach to make sure you’re still aligned throughout the coaching process.

Not Seeing the Results You Want?

If you’re still not seeing the results you want despite measuring your progress toward your goals and keeping track of your metrics with your coach, there are a few things that might be happening.

Internal obstacles may be standing in your way. Internal obstacles take the form of negative thought patterns such as doubts, insecurities, fear of failure, or perfectionism that might be causing you to sabotage yourself. Be honest with yourself and, with the support of your coach, analyze what you might be experiencing and what internal barriers are standing in your way.

It’s important to note that, when it comes to the coach and client relationship, you might find that it’s not working or it’s not a great fit. Whatever the reasons are, as the client, it’s critical to trust your coach and feel supported in the relationship. Otherwise, the coaching you receive will not be impactful enough to lead you to your desired results.

If you feel that you aren’t making progress with your coach, communicate your concerns to them immediately. Open communication will allow you to be honest with your coach and work together to find a solution. As Director of Career Coaching at Arootah Ariane Hunter noted, “Coaches are dedicated to ensuring that the support their clients receive is impactful and effective. Clients should always feel empowered to communicate with their coach when they don’t feel their expectations are being met so that any challenges can be resolved collaboratively.”

The Bottom Line

While it can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of coaching, setting metrics and clear goals for your coaching experience can help you maximize impact and effectiveness. The coaching relationship can be a powerful one when you align your priorities with success. The collaborative approach of coaching can create a clear channel for you and your coach to work toward the results you most want to see.

Curious about how to get the most out of coaching? Book a free intro call with an Arootah career coach to get started.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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