A growing trend in the coaching world is the use of psychometrics. In a report by the Coaching Psychologist, 80% of coaches say that they use psychometric reports in their coaching practice.
Psychometric tools attempt to quantify the abilities, attitudes and behavioural drivers of individuals. With the increasing expectations of coaching clients, psychometrics are an obvious contender to add value to any coaching conversation. Here are several reasons why:
An anchor for coaching
In his book ‘Psychometrics and Coaching’, Professor Jonathan Passmore writes that psychometric profiles provide “feedback or insights which, when combined with discussion, can provide a useful way of thinking about current ways of being, and planning new ways of being.”
Using accessible language, with visual, memorable models, psychometric reports offer an anchor point in your coaching conversations. Whether you are exploring strengths, ideas for personal development, development action points, challenges or aspirations, these anchors can be revisited to check understanding and continue the dialogue.
Enhances coachee awareness
A good psychometric can help to streamline the initial needs analysis phase, by allowing the coach to facilitate discussions about comfort zones, development areas, challenges and goals, linked to the psychometric data. If using a personality measure, coaches will have a wealth of data to help prepare for their sessions – which will help deepen the quality of the conversations and help to build rapport quickly.
Helps coaches become more mindful
Psychometrics offer a great way for coaches to reflect on their own behaviours, language, preferences and styles. By doing so, coaches can deepen their own self-awareness and provide some interesting opportunities for their own development.
A thorough examination of your own style (using a psychometric), before comparing with that of your coachee, can help open up a series of choices. Will you be actively challenging your coachee by asking them to step far outside of their comfort zone? Will you need to subtly adjust your own language to ensure your questions are received in the best possible way? What type of follow-up will the coachee appreciate?
No hiding places
The purpose of psychometrics in coaching is to let the ‘real’ self shine through, which can sometimes seek to challenge a coachee’s subjective perceptions. Validated, reliable information can be presented, using researched models and dimensions. Some clients who are very data-driven will appreciate a tangible set of data as a backup to the coaching conversations, which can also help both coach and coachee to access ROI.
Psychometric profiles can provide a structure for future development points and actions. Based on their psychometric feedback, is your coachee more likely to commit to follow-up that’s driven by theory, or action? Is there a chance they might over-commit to actions? What level of information will your coachee need in your record of the conversations? Having all of this knowledge as part of your coaching practice will help gain meaningful, measurable commitment, in a way that plays to the strengths of your coachees.
n.b. This is a reblog from a guest blog I posted on Coaching York's website in May 2015