Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Ken Keis (Canada)
Everything in life centers on measurement—money, travel, time, age, weight, volume, temperature, stock indexes—the list is endless. This is true even in underdeveloped countries that use the rising of the sun and the moon and the changing of the seasons as measurements.
However, our experience at CRG (after 40 years) has been that most people do not have a personal measurement strategy to help improve their lives or to help them establish their career path. A proper measurement or assessment strategy or assessment, can offer amazing freedom, clarity, direction and release to individuals and organizations.
If you went to your doctor, and he or she just guessed your temperature or blood pressure without taking a proper measurement with the right equipment, you would think they were a quack—certainly not someone whom you would trust with your life.
Coaching and Professional Development Are No Different
As a coach with over 10,000 hours and nearly 30 years of coaching and mentorship experience, I am familiar with numerous coaching methodologies, such as stakeholder feedback, conversational intelligence, mind kinetics, the narratives, the use of story and so forth, but one of the foundations that expedite our firm’s (and our Associates) coaching process—and that brings credibility, consistency and professionalism— is the use of assessments. In our opinion:
It’s doubtful (maybe even unprofessional) that a coaching practitioner or coaching process can be fully successful without an assessment strategy and
the use of assessments in their coaching methodology.
Why are assessments critical? They are essential to understand, benchmark, clarify and measure. They augment and bring additional value not possible via only narrative, interview or conversational coaching processes. I’m talking about using a holistic assessment system (plural and multidimensional), not just one assessment.
One of the most important aspects of assessments can be owned by the individual or individuals engaged in the coaching process. Change, or wise decisions, must be based on awareness and a full understanding of the situation. Many clients don’t know what they don’t know so conversational questions will not effectively benchmark current awareness, skills levels or conditions. Without some type of assessment strategy, how can we, as professionals, ask the right questions and offer the correct responses to our clients? The fact is we can’t.
Admittedly, using assessments is only one part of a coaching process, but it is one of the most efficient and effective strategies to provide you with a tactical advantage.
What Is an Assessment?
An assessment is any process, tool or methodology that benchmarks and measures a set of criteria for individuals, teams or organizations. As with money, volume or distance, assessment is a form of measurement that helps individuals know who they are and where they are going. The assessment does not create results; it only documents what is already true.
Implementing a Holistic Assessment Strategy
Developing the whole person is important to our coaching success. For example, let’s say you, an executive coach, have a client whose poor health practices are clearly affecting their energy, attentiveness and effectiveness. You would need to address as many of this person’s core stressors as possible. This undertaking would be best achieved by helping this person benchmark their health and wellness practices, as well as possible stressors. This is where a stress and wellness assessment helps you, the coach, fulfill your goal of serving your client.
There are no limitations as to what assessments can measure, including personal style (or personality), job fit and compatibility, values, leadership skills, emotional intelligence, stress and health, self-worth, learning styles, trust factors and much more.
Below is CRG’s proprietary development model, where we outline many of the primary factors that make up one’s personhood. We have assessments to help in each area and assist clients in benchmarking or clarifying their condition in each factor.
We realize there will be exceptions, but in our coaching practice, nearly everyone completes two to four assessments, depending on the coaching engagement and outcomes we have agreed to provide.
Imagine you are working with a group of managers from one organization and you deploy our Stress Indicator and Health Planner; this tool not only allows you to individually benchmark 120 items, but it also enables you to conduct a team review, after which team members can even work together to implement improvements with partner-based or peer accountability/support.
Do I Need a Professional to Help with the Assessment Process?
The answer is Yes and No. First, a professional almost always adds value to an assessment process. Whether an expert is required for a specific assessment depends on the type of resource being used. Some assessments require expert interpretation in which the coaching professional must debrief the results to the individual who has taken the assessment. In our opinion, the best application for this type of test is for the screening side of the hiring or HR, not coaching or professional development.
Our experience has shown that the best assessments in coaching applications are those in which the participant can understand the content, then self-interpret the results. Yes, as a coaching professional, your interaction with participants and their results is highly beneficial, but the fact remains that the more the individual understands the model and the content of the assessment, the better equipped he or she will be to make independent and intentional decisions.
To teach people how to fish, as the saying goes, we need to equip them to take ownership of their professional development. Self-interpretation assessments, like the ones that CRG has published for over 39 years, helps achieve that objective.
How Can I Effectively Use Assessments in Personal, Career, Leadership/Executive and/or Organisational Applications?
- Before conducting assessments, establish the primary items you want to measure.
- Make sure you select assessments that apply well to your situation.
- With a team, ensure all members should go through the assessment process.
- Confirm your assessment strategy and consistently implement it.
- Never abuse the privilege and confidentiality of the process. Share all results with the individual.
- Remember, it’s not the results that are important; it’s what people do with them.
- Choose assessments that are proven in the marketplace and that are well regarded by their users. Just because an assessment is well known or has high market awareness does not mean it is high quality and will meet your needs.
- If you have no experience in the assessment world, contact a qualified professional who can recommend several options and choices. The use of assessments is a must for any progressive individual or organization.
It’s difficult to determine where you want to go if you don’t know your starting point. Use assessments to evaluate where you and your clients are now and to plan where to go next.
Start now. Take your personal life and coaching business to the next level with the right assessments for your situation.
Special Offer to ICN Subscribers:
CRG is offering a limited-time complimentary Personal Style Indicator (value $45) to each ICN subscriber. This assessment is preferred over others, like MBTI or DiSC, and will provide a 20-page report. Go to this link to receive your complimentary assessment: www.crgleader.com/ICN
Ken Keis, Ph.D., is a foremost global authority on behavioral assessment strategies and processes, and an expert in leadership, purpose, and wellness. He has authored over 4 million words of content, including 500 articles, 4 books and a dozen assessments to help others realize their full potential.
As President and CEO of Consulting Resource Group International (CRG), which provides assessment resources to coaches and speakers, Dr. Keis has worked with many high-profile companies, associations and industry groups. In the past 30 years, Ken has conducted more than 3,000 presentations and 10,000 hours of coaching and consulting. He is a highly sought-after author, speaker, trainer, podcast guest and host of his own podcast show, “The Secrets of Success™ with Dr. Ken Keis,” available on iTunes and SoundCloud. His latest books are Why Aren’t You More Like Me?, Deliberate Leadership and The Quest For Purpose.
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