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3 min read

Neuroscience Proves the Return on Coaching

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Executive and leadership coaches have been seeking an objective way to quantify their coaching impact for individuals and organizations - or as we call it, the return on coaching (ROC). The Tuesday app provides an unbiased measure of coaching effectiveness that translates to individual and organizational KPIs. 

There are times when nearly everyone and nearly every organization needs a coach. There are a variety of ways that coaches are trained and certified, and they use a myriad of techniques to improve individual and organizational performance. This variety in approaches can better match coaches with those seeking change, but it also complicates evaluating coaching impact, or as we call it, the return on coaching (ROC).

Fundamentally, coaches seek to change maladaptive behaviors. These behaviors originate in the brain, so coaching can be seen as an effort to induce neuroplasticity in coachees.  Neuroplasticity is the creation of new pathways in the brain that manifest as changed behaviors. We can look to neuroscience to objectively assess the ROC using a method described below. The value of a neuroscience-based metric is that it can be used irrespective of who the coach is, his or her coaching style, and whether coaching is done one-to-one or one-to-many.  If neuroplasticity is happening, it is measurable. 

Neuroplasticity is metabolically costly. One way to measure this metabolic investment is by measuring the neurologic value employees obtain while working. This measure is called Immersion and was developed by our company's founders. A key finding is that Immersion is positively correlated with both productivity and job satisfaction, making Immersion a meaningful, unbiased metric for both individuals and organizations. If coaching successfully improves performance at work, then average neurologic Immersion will be higher post-coaching compared to that before coaching began.  

The ROC can therefore be calculated as the change in average neurologic Immersion due to coaching. This measure of ROC is an objective, passive, and continuous measure of coaching effectiveness that cannot be gamed and is not subject to self-report bias. It is also a measure of the value that accrues to organizations from coaching. 

Here's how this works in practice. Bizcorp decides to offer coaching to 50 managers at their headquarters. One month before the training, the coach invites the employees to download the Tuesday emotional fitness app from Immersion, which guides employees to build up their emotional resilience. The app applies algorithms to data pulled from smartwatches or fitness sensors to measure Immersion continuously all day. Average Immersion for the group over the month prior to the start of coaching is captured by the coach using the Tuesday enterprise platform. After coaching concludes, employees are encouraged to continue to use Tuesday. The ROC is the change in average Immersion for the group from pre- to post-coaching that can be traced to the coaching intervention. This is easily applied to one-to-one coaching as well.

Besides calculating ROC, there are several additional benefits of this brain-based approach. First, individual employees see their own data but no one else's, so they can see the progress due to coaching, which reinforces neuroplasticity and behavior change. Second, although the data does not contain personally-identifiable information, it can be "tagged" with group identifiers if an individual is interested in sharing their data. The data will show if a group of coachees in a particular office location or department have not benefited from coaching, or have not benefited as much as other employees, indicating that a coaching tune-up is needed. This ensures everyone receives the benefits of coaching so that the organization obtains a high ROC. Third, when employees continue to measure Immersion after coaching, additional coaching needs can be identified by a decline in Immersion that reveals work disengagement. In this way, coaches earn extra income by selling additional services, employees benefit by gaining additional training precisely when it is needed – which raises job satisfaction, and organizations sustain productivity gains. Finally, the measurement of neurologic Immersion due to coaching is new and unique and is thus a way for coaches to differentiate themselves. 

Tuesday can also be used during coaching sessions to identify how effectively coaches are connecting with coachees, enabling pivots and redirects. Many coaches also do quarterly Tuesday check-ins to see if clients need additional coaching to sustain their progress. The data are easy to understand, running from 0-100 with the platform automatically identifying coachees' best and worst days and weeks. As a bonus, many coaches also recommend Tuesday as a tool clients can use to measure and optimize their own emotional fitness.

Tuesday is the easy to use, objective measurement technique coaches have been asking for to quantify their coaching impact. Reach out now for a demo at hello@besttuesdayever.com!

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