As a life coach, your ultimate goal is to help your clients achieve their objectives. That means understanding their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, and guiding them to set and achieve the goals that will make a meaningful difference in their lives. Besides asking powerful questions, one of the best tools you have is assessments.
Why Are Coaching Assessments Important?
Assessments provide baseline information about client behavior, attitudes, and preferences. It’s one thing to ask a client probing questions about these facets of life. It’s quite another to implement an instrument that can quantify personal traits. An assessment serves as a more objective third party in the coaching relationship. These quizzes and matrices can reveal inconsistencies or strengths that clients didn’t recognize before. At other times, a personalized report from a well-crafted assessment assigns useful labels to traits or tendencies that a client was only vaguely aware of but lacked the vocabulary to name.
Armed with the data from an assessment, you and your client can identify areas for improvement, leverage strengths, and set meaningful goals.
Assessments can be a powerful way to gain insight into your clients’ behavior, attitudes, and preferences, which will help you identify areas for improvement. Whether you’re a new coach just starting out or an experienced professional looking to enhance your coaching skills, incorporating assessments into your practice can help you set clear goals and create a personalized plan that will increase their chances of success.
Four Benefits of Using Coaching Assessment Tools
It can be challenging to learn how to use an assessment in the beginning, but as you become more proficient with an assessment, it can be a highly effective way to create a more targeted action plan with your clients to help them achieve measurable success on their journeys toward growth.
Here are just a few reasons why assessments can help you provide more effective coaching services for your clients.
1. Clients Gain Enhanced Self-awareness
Assessments help clients better understand their personalities, strengths, and motivations. This heightened self-awareness can lead to more effective decision-making and stronger interpersonal relationships that contribute to personal and professional growth.
2. Coaches Can Easily Create Targeted Goal-setting and Action Plans
Assessments enable coaches to identify clients’ specific areas of strength and areas for growth. This information allows coaches to develop targeted goals and action plans that align with clients’ unique needs, aspirations, and abilities. Clients are more likely to achieve their goals when they have a clear and realistic roadmap to follow.
3. Improved Client Engagement and Commitment
Clients who understand their strengths, motivations, and personal attributes are more likely to engage fully in the coaching process and commit to their goals. Assessments can foster this engagement by providing clients tangible insights.
4. Progress and Success Are Accurately Measured
Assessments can serve as benchmarks for clients’ growth and development throughout the coaching process. By administering evaluations at different stages, coaches can track clients’ progress, identify areas for further growth, and demonstrate the tangible results of their coaching services.
Choosing the Right Assessment for Your Coaching Clients
The best assessment tools should help you gain a deeper understanding of your clients’ strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. With this information, you can develop more targeted coaching sessions, tailored to the specific needs of your client.
A great assessment provides both qualitative (categorical) and quantitative (numerical) data, which can also serve as a benchmark for progress, allowing you and your client to track their development and celebrate milestones along the way. When both sets of information are combined, it can lead to more meaningful and impactful coaching sessions, helping your clients reach their goals faster and with greater success.
Three Types of Assessments Used In Coaching
1. Personality Assessments
Personality assessments help identify clients’ personality traits, preferences, and tendencies, which can be valuable for understanding how they approach work, relationships, and decision-making. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the 5 Voices are questionnaires that provide results that categorize clients by personality type.
These assessments help individuals gain self-awareness, enabling them to understand how their personality influences their decisions, communication, relationships, and overall life experiences. By understanding their nature, individuals can develop personal and professional growth strategies.
In corporate settings, personality assessments can be valuable for team-building, leadership development, and conflict resolution. Managers can optimize collaboration, communication, and overall performance by understanding the diverse personalities within a team, creating a more harmonious and productive work environment.
2. Strength Assessments
Strength assessments identify individuals’ unique talents, abilities, and aptitudes, fostering personal and professional growth. These assessments evaluate character traits, skills, and competencies to provide insights into an individual’s strengths. Tools like the VIA Character Strengths Survey and CliftonStrengths assessment use self-report questionnaires or surveys to generate personalized profiles highlighting an individual’s strengths.
Understanding strengths allows for informed career choices, goal-setting, and targeted personal and professional development strategies.
3. Motivation Assessments
A motivation assessment evaluates an individual’s driving factors, goals, and aspirations, providing insights into what inspires and energizes them. These assessments help individuals better understand their underlying motivations, enabling them to align their personal and professional lives with their core values and passions. Individuals can develop strategies for enhanced performance, job satisfaction, and overall well-being by recognizing their motivations.
Motivation assessments often involve self-report questionnaires or surveys, which prompt individuals to reflect on their preferences, experiences, and aspirations. One example is the Self-Determination Theory-based assessment.
Another example of a motivational assessment is the Motivation Code, or MCode, for short. MCode is the only narrative-based assessment that uses your own stories to reveal what drives you to make the choices you make and do the things you do. Based on your responses to a series of questions about your stories, it generates a detailed personalized profile, outlining your primary motivational drivers and providing guidance on effectively harnessing these factors to your benefit.
Disclosure: Coach Factory is proud to be a part of Motivations AI, which also owns MCode.
How to Use Assessments with Your Coaching Clients
Adding strength, personality, and motivation assessments to your coaching toolkit can significantly enhance the services you provide your clients. These assessments offer valuable insights into your clients’ traits, preferences, and driving factors, allowing you to create personalized coaching plans that cater to their unique needs and goals.
But how can you use these tools to foster successful client coaching sessions?
Explain the purpose of using assessments with your clients
Assessments are the first line of communication between you and your client. Discussing them during your sessions lets your clients know how important assessments are to their personal development journey.
Assessments also allow you to establish baseline metrics for goal-setting and tracking progress. Your client will also experience improved self-awareness and gain the confidence needed for successful commitment to their personal development plan.
Administer the assessment
Give your clients the option to take their assessment in person, online, or in a hybrid setting that uses both. Whichever method you choose, make yourself available to assist or answer any questions your client may have while taking the assessment.
Always provide the client with clear instructions before taking their assessment to ensure the results are as accurate as possible.
Review the results
First, review the results alone and take notes of any key insights, patterns, and growth areas. During your review, note any possible recommendations or resources that would be helpful for your client. Having clear notes will make things easier when it comes to reviewing the results with your client present.
You will then schedule another meeting with your to review the results with your client. Start by giving them an assessment overview, then move into details. Leave time to answer questions or clarify portions of the assessment with your client.
Create an action plan
Once you’ve discussed the results with your client, you both can collaborate to create an action plan. Always provide your client with your recommendations while leaving space for them to include their input.
If your client is uncomfortable with any portion of the plan, allow them time to work through their objections. Be sure to ask questions that will help you identify the source of their discomfort but use caution. You never want to force your client to do anything they’re deeply uncomfortable doing.
Schedule progress checks
Once your client has begun their journey through transformation, you’ll want to check in with them regularly. See if your client requires additional support or needs any adjustments to their plan. Scheduling weekly check-in can boost your client’s motivation to continue progressing.
Having your client retake the assessment to track progress or identify any new blocks or insights is also okay.
Remember that assessments don’t represent the whole picture
Recognize that assessment results only provide a snapshot of your client’s situation. Human beings are complex and emotional, so it’s crucial to have a conversation with your client before drawing conclusions or formulating plans.
Consider the client’s stage of change
Look for clues in the assessments that indicate your client’s readiness for change. Understanding their stage of evolution can help you tailor your coaching strategy to meet them where they are, ensuring a more effective and supportive coaching experience.
Free Guide to Assessments for Coaches
Download this two-page reference as an easy review of this article and refer to it as you devise a coaching plan for a new client.
Using assessments with your coaching clients can bring numerous benefits, from gaining deeper insights into their strengths and areas for growth, to setting clear and achievable goals, to tracking progress and celebrating successes. Additionally, assessments can help you build rapport with your clients and establish a more collaborative coaching relationship.
By incorporating the insights gained from assessments and adapting your coaching approach, you can guide clients toward meaningful, lasting growth and success. Using assessments in your coaching practice is invaluable for optimizing client outcomes and fostering a more personalized, targeted, and effective coaching experience.