In my exploration of assessment strategies, I have become interested in appropriate and effective techniques for assessing the client-consultant relationship in sport psychology consultation. Different aspects and my associated personal opinions are discussed below:
– Pencil and paper assessment of a consulting relationship should reflect the nature of relationship and would feel appropriate if a formal and super-professional relationship has been formed. Also, the idea of formal assessments should have already been experienced and normalized. You run the risk of alienating and offending a client if they feel open enough to speak about the topic aloud; like you are not comfortable going to that level of depth with them.
– One-on-one assessment cannot be anonymous. Group environments allow for this, which I think is always best for accurate feedback. (Although the optimal situation is a one-on-one interaction guaranteed to be a 100% open interaction.)
– Timing and frequency of assessment should be precontemplated as there are benefits and drawbacks to different setups. Consultants may receive more honest feedback if it is the termination phase. Feedback could be useful content for beneficial consulting changes. (“Man I wish I would have known that.”)
– 360-degree assessment would be best. I think it is most telling to gain a coach’s perspective in positive behavior change / performance etc.
It could be useful to encapsulate a client-consultant relationship assessment within a content related feedback so that the topic is less taboo; ask what topics the client desires further depth while asking what is going well in the relationship / what would make the relationship better etc.