November 25, 2022

Keeping track of client progress

How do you keep track of client progress? Do you keep track of client progress as a coach? How can we encourage our clients to keep track themselves?

These were some of the questions asked in one of our great Free Meetup and Exchange sessions. We came up with many possibilities and also interesting thoughts:

Is it the client's or the coach's responsibility to track progress?

Of course, tracking progress benefits both the coach and the client and therefore it would be good if both took responsibility for it. The "tracking" serves different purposes, though: the coach might want to remember what the client talked about over various sessions - the client might want to reflect on their progress. Both might want to be able to share progress with the sponsor of the coaching process. Depending on the expected benefit of the "tracking", the notes might look different.

Is it really "tracking" that we are doing?

"Tracking" sounds like it is a bookkeeping activity. Maybe we should redefine the metaphor and use "tracking" in the sense of "finding a track". Like someone in the bush who tracks a path, it is not a backward oriented activity, but also a forward looking one. In reflecting on the terrain covered and the path already taken, client and coach are creating new possibilities for new paths. In the best case the tracking is reflective practice.

You cannot not influence!

If it is really reflective practice and not "bookkeeping" or "showing the Return on Investment", we would be well advised to be mindful of the effect that our "tracking" questions have. Compare: "What is the benefit you received from the coaching" (client passive, "receiving" benefit) with "What have you achieved over the last week?" or "What did you experiment with?" or "What did you learn about yourself?"

Everyone needs their own tracking device

Here are some that we came up with in our conversation:

  • visual notes
  • picture
  • mural / miro
  • a table with questions
  • a log
  • beans in your pockets (one bean changes pockets when the client learns something about the topic)

Do come and join us for more insights, questions, lively discussions -- we'd love to see you!

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