Personality Tools for Coaches

Is it appropriate for a coach to give personality assessments?  Most personality assessment tools have a certification process prior to administering the tool.  If a coach is also certified in that personality assessment tool, administering the assessment falls under that role or capacity.  Coaching begins where the assessment ends.  Specifically, using the results of an assessment, a coach works with a client to understand the information, develop a strategy for what they want to change, and then design actions to move forward.

As a tool for understanding a client, the results of a personality assessment provide benefits and risks.  On the benefit side, personality assessments provide insight, a framework for understanding, and an awareness of personal nuances.  On the risk side, some people disagree with the results and are frustrated by the information.  As a coach, the biggest risk is in believing that now, with a personality label, you know your client; people are different personalities at different times and have different interpretations of the questions at different times.

One of the competencies for coaching is being present.  The ideal in coaching is to be aware of who your client is in the moment – be fully present to their personality and flex to them in that moment based on who they are right now.  In the ICF-approved coach training at the Center for Coaching Certification, the tool on personalities is specifically designed to be aware of who the client is in the moment and then flexing to them appropriately.

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