There’s a lot of misconceptions regarding assessments and I hope this post will debunk several myths regarding these tools.

I’ve deployed behavioral assessments with clients in the coaching business coming up on 18 years now. I absolutely love these instruments and my clients greatly appreciate the value they bring to the coaching experience.

Personally, I remember a time when I thought assessments were funky gadgets which have as much utility as the second shift button on a keyboard.

Why do I say that?

Well, 30+ years ago I was part of a RIF, Reduction In Force, aka a massive layoff. After researching my options I thought it would be a good idea to make an investment in my personal and professional development. So, I hired an HR firm to buff my CV/resume and interviewing skills. This firm also strongly suggested I take several behavioral assessments. I acquiesced to the the tune of about $900. ($2K in 2023 adjusted for inflation)

I took two assessments. The Campbell Interest and Skill Survey and MBTI, the infamous Myers Briggs. CISS was to help me determine a direction for a new career. The MBTI was to measure my behavioral style.

The HR company did a marvy job of giving my CV a new look and feel. But the assessments? I didn’t think it was worth the time nor the money.

Reason? Knowing what I know now about assessments, It’s Not the Wand it’s the Wizard. 

Let me explain. The Wizard (HR Professional, Coach, etc.) needs to do know how to leverage what’s inside the behavioral assessment report with the essence of who the client is to get the client to where they want to go quicker. Easier said then done for a newbie.

Many new coaches believe if they make the investment and become certified in an assessment tool i.e. DISC, Birkman, HBDI, etc. to name a few. all they need to do is have the client take the online survey and voila! The coach thinks they’ll give their client an instantaneous “I Dream of Jeannie” solution to their endgame.

Ipso facto, prospective clients will beat a path to their door and they’ll have a booming coaching biz. Yoo hoo! 

Ginormous MYTH! Couldn’t be further from reality.

The assessment does not provide an instant fix, solution, etc.  The assessment tool alone will not dramatically increase the speed at which a coach grows a business. In fact, if the coach doesn’t comprehend how to use assessments with clients in a way which provides value? They’ll end up repelling clients like a can of OFF! insect spray.

However assessments in the hands of a Wizard, a pro, an authority, will provide humongous value and offer clients insights they’ve never seen, heard, or felt before.

  • Clients will better understand their behavior style and how to flex their style to be better communicators, leaders, etc.
  • Clients will reflect on their motivators and clarify why they behave the way they do over the long term.
  • Clients will explore their natural strengths and where they might need to shore up undeveloped areas.

Behavioral assessments are beautiful wands to jump start the coaching conversation. And, I’ve experienced huge shifts in clients after they’ve taken an assessment because now they see things differently.

My assessment of choice is TriMetrix HD. This wand measures the behaviors, motivators and strengths in addition to areas for development. 

As the coach/Wizard, I take the time to understand what’s my clients endgame, analyze their assessment results, and partner with them in a way to provide a safe space to explore possibilities and ultimately design a path to achieve their goals in alignment with who they are.

Coaches in training or new to getting traction in their business are always looking for the magic wand. Resources, tools, assessments, etc. to gain an edge on their competitors as well as hoping to make them a superstar with their clients. 

Remember, the tools you’re using are being deployed by hundreds of thousands if not millions of other professionals in the coaching and consulting game.

It’s sine qua non, essential, that you consistently uplevel your coaching skills to know how to leverage the results of these “wands.” The professional coach with the best coaching skills will out coach the next coach who simply relies on tools and resources.

It’s not the wand, it’s the wizard.

 

 

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