Assessments: A Cornerstone to Successful Leadership Coaching

women talking across a table

Providing coaching to high potential employees has come to be seen as a must in many high performance companies.  Many leaders who want to differentiate themselves and enhance their contribution to the organization enlist a coach to help them achieve their potential and make their mark on an organization’s success.

When the goals of the coaching engagement are connected directly to the business context, strategy, and organizational leadership requirements, coaching serves to develop leaders who truly understand their role in the success of the business. And that makes good business sense.

However, coaches can only work with what they know. Increasingly, coaches look to psychometric assessments as a source for sound, objective information to support the coaching process. Depending on your experience with assessment tools, you may have questions and perhaps reservations about their use. Here are a few of the reasons leadership coaches value assessments.

Developing an objective framework to reach your goals – Psychometric assessments can offer enlightening information, providing a framework to guide you and your coach in developing a coaching plan that will focus on your goals. By understanding your goals in relation to your organization’s objectives, a certified coach can help you create strategies to support your development as a leader. The assessment results will also provide a baseline against which to measure your improvement.

Fostering strong self-awareness – Since a significant aspect of leadership coaching is creating self-awareness, assessment results can be extremely useful to provide insight into your strengths and gaps. A coach can help you to leverage those strengths to realize your goals. And by identifying gaps, or development opportunities, your coach can assist in developing a plan to close them. Assessments can also help to identify your over-strengths, which is when you use a strength to the extreme and to the detriment of your performance. By developing a plan to manage your over strengths you can better align your leadership development goals with those of the organization. The opportunity to receive objective assessment data related to your leadership attributes in a coaching environment, where the results can be used in a positive and supportive manner, can make the difference between frustration and success in setting and realizing your business objectives.

Creating efficiency in the process – Your assessment results can provide insights in such areas as personality, leadership style, and organizational focus that might otherwise take a long time to surface in the coaching relationship. Assessment data can be extremely helpful in focusing you and your coach on where you want to go and how to get there in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

There are a great number of assessment tools available. Your coach will likely have a particular tool that he or she has found to be effective.  Sometimes, depending on the information that is needed, the coach may recommend using more than one assessment instrument. If you have data from assessments that you have completed for other purposes within your organization, a certified coach can often help you to incorporate this information into your coaching plan.

The use of psychometric assessments is one part of a larger picture in the coaching process and should always be supported and augmented by information from additional sources.

Used appropriately, assessment information can dramatically improve the coaching experience and, ultimately, your ability to realize your goals and achieve success for your organization.