How to measure what matters when coaching leaders on performance, leadership and effectiveness

How to measure what matters when coaching leaders on performance, leadership and effectiveness

As coaches, we are on a mission to support leaders in all aspects of life – from business and wealth to relationships and health – to become more effective leaders. There are several options available to us today to support our coachees effectively and identify progress. We can use methodical assessments, such as psychometric tests, profiling tools, etc., or we can follow our intuition. So which one should we tap into? Or is there a more effective way – one that avoids putting people in boxes? In this article, leadership coach and Accredited Being Profile Practitioner and Facilitator Markus O. Winzer outlines some alternative ways we can draw on as coaches to determine whether our coaching is effective and shifts are sustainable for our coachees beyond the traditional KPIs.


Aug 23, 2022

6 mins read

Coaching in organisational and leadership settings is an invaluable way to develop people across a wide range of needs and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). But, as coaches, how do we determine the most effective means to measure what matters beyond KPIs and support our coachees to become more effective leaders when there are so many options available to us today? We can turn to methodical assessments, such as psychometric tests, profiling tools, etc. or tap into our intuition about the state of their emotions, thoughts and feelings based on what they say and their demeanour. Uncertainty around the most appropriate course of action in coaching may lead to insecurity and cause us to question ourselves. 

  • Am I a good coach?

  • What will they think of me if I don’t deliver the results they are seeking?

  • Am I really effective as a coach?

  • What else can I do to support my coachee?

  • Do I really know what is stopping them?

  • Does my client see the value and impact of my coaching?

All this uncertainty may prevent us from fulfiling our mission to support more leaders and reach our potential as coaches. Ultimately, our inability to grow and thrive may lead us to see no alternative but to close our coaching business. While a global study conducted by International Coaching Federation (ICF) found that coaching offers multiple benefits, including increased self-confidence in 80% of people studied, the study also found that 82% of coaching businesses fail within the first two years. So what can you do to create a point of difference and put yourself in the 18% of coaching businesses that thrive beyond those first couple of years? The answer is to measure what matters (beyond KPIs) when it comes to leadership, performance and effectiveness, and then support your coachee to transform in those areas.

How to measure transformation and empower your coachees to shift beyond KPIs – an ontological (‘let’s get real’) approach

Before I share some alternative ways we can draw on as coaches to support transformational change, let’s briefly consider the current landscape. In the world of personal development today, we have many options available to us as coaches. The landscape is full of methodological assessment tools that measure different aspects of a coachee’s current state based on personality, behaviour, motivation, aptitude, strengths and weaknesses, 360-feedback, and the list goes on. 

Prior to developing the Being Framework™ and writing his best-selling books, BEING and HUMAN BEING, Ashkan Tashvir Ashkan and his team spent years studying the coaching tools and options available. In BEING, he writes, “...we found none [tools] to be suitable for the ontological approach upon which the Being Framework is founded as most were superficial and would often measure behaviours or categorise people into predefined personality types. Many even resort to comparing an individual’s qualities and personality traits against others, which is ineffective and/or inappropriate for transformation and coaching.”

Alternatively, we could base our support on what our coachee says and how they say it – the emotions and feelings behind their words. While one approach measures aspects that might not be relevant, the intuitive approach, while valid, lacks objectivity. 

So how can we measure what matters? And how can we offer a more effective approach that enables our coachees to achieve more than just incremental change through a behavioural and mindset shift or personality type identification? Lucy Faulconer, a fellow Being Profile Accredited Practitioner and Leadership Coach, wrote in a recent article, “The key is to go beyond behavioural change and focus on the deeper qualities that drive our behaviours and actions.”

Let’s now consider how we can measure true transformation and support leaders along their transformational journey.

4 steps to consider to measure true transformation 

Step 1: Identify what to measure.

Identify the qualities your coachee is struggling with so you know how to target your support for their leadership transformation journey. I choose to use the Being Framework as its ontological (‘let’s get real’), methodical and rigorous approach delivers a decent level of objectivity.

Step 2: Utilise a profiling tool focused on transformation

To measure true transformation over the period of time you are coaching your coachee, select a profiling tool focused on transformation. I use the Being Profile®, the Being Framework’s ontometric measurement tool. Use the debrief session with your coachee to explore the areas of their life that require transformation and the specific qualities they would benefit from transforming their relationship with to achieve that objective. In this way, the results they want to achieve become a byproduct of their transformation as a leader.

Step 3: Coach to transform.

Coach and support your coachee in shifting their relationship with those qualities and how they apply in life throughout the coaching agreement. Besides many modalities I use to support my coachees, I have found that what I learned as an ontological coach in the Thrive Coach Training Program enables me to help my coachees to shift sustainably.

Step 4: Review the next areas with your coachee.

I recommend conducting Being Profile Assessments every six months with your coachees so they can review their progress and identify if their relationship with the Aspects of Being they were struggling with has actually shifted and transformed. Use this session to also identify and select the next key areas of development to progress their professional and personal development in line with their goals and intentions.

Here is an example of what a leadership transformational journey might look like over time, with a focus on the highest level Aspects of Being known as Meta Factors (awareness, integrity and effectiveness):

How does this coaching approach to measuring and transforming what matters apply in real life?

One of my coachees leads a team within a large company in Australia. When she first engaged me more than a year ago, I asked her to complete a Being Profile assessment and debrief, which enabled us to identify the key areas to work on. Over the next twelve months, I supported her in shifting her relationship with anxiety, responsibility, higher purpose, care, fear, vulnerability and authenticity, all deep, underlying moods and ways of Being. We completed another Being Profile assessment and debrief at the six-month interval to identify what had shifted and how to target and customise our coaching sessions for the next six months. The key was to uncover the leadership qualities that would make the most significant difference to her, which was identified as her relationship with vulnerability, amongst others.
At the end of the twelve months, my client’s health scores for confidence, assertiveness and persistence – qualities closer to the surface – more than doubled. Not only did she go on to win one of the biggest deals in the company’s history, but she also significantly shifted her relationship with herself. She became more forgiving, compassionate, responsible and loving, causing her to become even more effective consistently.

The most consistently effective coaching focuses on supporting your coachee to identify the underlying, often hidden qualities that are transformable and make a difference to their decisions, behaviours and actions closer to the surface. As Margaret Heffernan writes in her book, Willful Blindness, “As long as it [an issue] remains invisible, it is guaranteed to remain insoluble”. Uncovering and transforming the ‘invisible’ qualities is a far more effective approach to coaching than basing your recommendations solely on feelings, thoughts, emotions, intuition or methodological assessments. Then, once you have identified the gaps, you can proceed to implement the four key steps to support them in measuring what matters and guide them on their transformation journey.

Step 1: Identify what to measure.
Step 2: Utilise a profiling tool focused on transformation.
Step 3: Coach to transform.
Step 4: Review the next areas with your coachee. 

If you are curious about how you could support your coachees with increased awareness of which leadership qualities to shift in order to make the most significant difference for them, I invite you to send me a message here.

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