By Elva Ainsworth (United Kingdom)
“42” may indeed be “the answer to life, the universe and everything” (according to the famous “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) but what on earth has it to do with you? And why might numbers be interesting to a coach who is already skilled at conversations that empower problem-solving and enable transformational growth? It may be that, “42” means whatever you want it to mean, but so what? The point is that data needs context and then it needs the accurate meaning to be of use. You need to know how a number compares, what the “normal” level might be, what the range of possibilities are, what it may indicate and with what certainty, what the distribution is – to name but a few of the critical pieces of information necessary to accurately interpret data. Understanding the data is just the first step though. Only then can you start to turn data into “insight” which can then, in turn, be a powerful spring-board for a transformational journey through coaching.
Data may be tricky to find and work with but it is supremely useful in transformational coaching – especially when the data directly link with the focus of your coaching – such as behaviour and impact at work.
About the Elva Ainsworth
Elva Ainsworth is the founder and managing director of Talent Innovations and author of new book 360 degree feedback: A Transformational Approach (£15.99, Panoma Press). In HR, she enjoyed implementing the brand-new psychometrics, as well as designing culture change and personal development interventions. In 1994, she focused on her love of psychometrics by joining SHL (now CEB), the leading business psychologists, where she managed the 360-degree feedback and management development practice in both the UK and the USA.