One of the great innovations of Stakeholder Centered Coaching (SCC) is the Mini Survey. It combines simplicity, insight, and motivational power.
Here’s how it works: An SCC coach engages with a leader on a particular goal. Let’s say it’s “Delegate effectively.” Stakeholders are then enrolled. Stakeholders are people who will have an ongoing role in the coaching process, including assessing the leader’s progress on the stated goal.
After a certain interval, sometimes as soon as three months, more commonly six months, and then after a year, the stakeholders will receive a confidential third-party administered electronic survey. Among other things, the survey asks each stakeholder to assess the leader’s progress on the stated goal: “________’s goal is ‘Delegate effectively.’ What progress has he/she made?”
Stakeholders respond numerically on a +3 -3 scale. If the stakeholder puts down “0”, it means the stakeholder perceives neither progress nor regression in the leader’s delegation effectiveness. +1 means noticeable improvement. + 2 means “I’m impressed!” And +3 means “Wow! This person is probably the best darn delegator in the whole company!”
The survey also works in reverse. – 1 one means there’s been slippage. – 2 means things have really gotten worse. – 3 means “OMG!!!”
When I engage with coaching clients, I say the goal should be to exceed a net + 1, preferably higher.
The Mini Survey provides an objective way to evaluate what are separate individual subjective assessments. It focuses both coach and coachee on what needs to happen next. It provides clarity and reinforces accountability. After the results come in, it’s time to discuss the next phase of the coaching engagement.
Another feature of the Mini Survey I especially like: the request for feedforward. In addition to the numerical assessment, each stakeholder is asked to provide practical suggestions for the leader going forward. Invariably, information is conveyed that helps the leader continue to improve. Feedforward also helps guard against slippage where former, problematic behaviors resurface.
Lately, and as part of the SCC initiative in creating organization-wide coaching cultures, an organization version of the Mini Survey has proved helpful. Like the individual leader survey, this version maintains confidentiality. It asks employees what progress the organization’s leadership team has made on its articulated goal of “Create a coaching culture.” It also provides employees the opportunity to offer practical suggestions to further progress. Rather than a generic “employee engagement” survey, this version of Mini Survey zeroes in on the actual leadership behaviors that lead to high employee engagement.
Another Nice Feature about the Mini Survey
How many times have you received a survey with a mind-numbing plethora of questions? The Mini Survey spares you this torture. It can be filled out in minutes, yet it still provides highly valuable information.
The Mini Survey – I highly recommend deploying it. If you want more information on this, contact Karen Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org.