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Coaching versus Evaluation

There are a few key distinctions between coaching and evaluation.

  • While evaluation tends to provide feedback relative to some established standard, coaching focuses on the recipient of feedback and their developmental needs.  It is customer-centric rather than standard-centric.

  • Coaching tends toward pragmatism. What is the one thing for which feedback could make a big difference? How can one best deliver it so the recipient benefits? In contrast, evaluation tends to be about form, and often provides a number of points.

  • In practice, evaluation highlights the evaluator. Coaching deliberately focuses in the recipient. It’s to deliver value, not a speech.

  • Note: Good coaching also seeks to teach the other members through feedback to an individual.


  • Lead Coach: Focus on Coaching the Coaches so all can hone their skills, then provide the highest value suggestions for the meeting and community.

  • Coaches: Before speaking, answer two questions.

  • What is the highest value feedback I can provide?

  • How best to deliver it so it is received? A single comment? Critique woven into praise? The sandwich approach? Only praise that builds up on progress?

  • Grammarian: Rather than counting items, focus on where and how language brings great benefit, or undermines the speaker, or the membership.

  • Videographer: Coach the club on how to get the best value from recordings, or how to stage for the benefit of better quality recording.

  • Timer: Give only highlights on timing,  but focus on how to make the very best use of time, which could include examples from the meeting.