Third, any dyadic relationship between people is profoundly affected by their values and attitudes, and these are partly determined by their personality. Much like in romantic relationships, the coach-client dyad is therefore dependent on the level of compatibility of their values—the core beliefs about what is right and what is wrong, common interests and passions, and ways to find meaning in the world and interpret reality. It is thus feasible that some clients may be repelled by certain coaches even when the coaches are highly experienced and have a great personality because their values or attitudes clash.
Thus, if you are interested in predicting the success of a coaching intervention, it is informative to attend to the personality of the coach. Personality assessments are already widely used in coaching and development interventions, but to assess the client.4 Perhaps it is time for clients to administer a personality assessment to their potential coaches before they decide to contract with them. Moreover, when coaches advertise their credentials and experience, they may also want to include information about their personality—both their bright and dark side. Not only would this help clients evaluate fit and predict success, it would also enable them to deal more effectively with their coach.
1. Theeboom T, Beersma B, van Vianen AEM. Does coaching work? A meta-analysis on the effects of coaching on individual level outcomes in an organizational context. J. Posit. Psychol. 2014;9(February 2015):1-18. doi:10.1080/17439760.2013.837499.
2. Hogan R, Chamorro-Premuzic T, Kaiser RB. Employability and Career Success: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Reality. Ind. Organ. Psychol. 2013;6(1):3-16. doi:10.1111/iops.12001.
3. Van Rooy DL, Viswesvaran C. Emotional intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation of predictive validity and nomological net. J. Vocat. Behav. 2004;65(1):71-95. doi:10.1016/S0001-8791(03)00076-9.
4. Gaddis BH, Foster JL. Meta-Analysis of Dark Side Personality Characteristics and Critical Work Behaviors among Leaders across the Globe: Findings and Implications for Leadership Development and Executive Coaching. Appl. Psychol. 2013;64(1):25-54. doi:10.1111/apps.12017.
This article was originally published on the ICF Blog.