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The Dark Side of Assessments

8 min read

Exceptional coaches are committed to helping individuals and organizations make significant shifts toward growth. Assessment instruments provide an opportunity to increase a clients’ awareness of the influencing elements including strengths, character, motives and desires. These instruments reveal the light of truth for the client, focusing on both the possibilities and obstacles uniquely important to their coaching goals.

The many advantages of assessment instruments have led to a broad and seemingly limitless selection.  Their popularity and growth are fueled by a new generation’s passion for self-awareness, and an industry of social networking providing platforms for sharing our discoveries.

This new territory, with it’s vast choice and accessibility, brings great responsibility. Our responsibility as facilitators of change includes being aware of the dark side of assessments, even when we ourselves contribute to the eclipse by standing in the way of truth and casting a shadow on the results.

In this “change at the speed of light” environment it’s essential that the discerning coach recognize and mitigate the eclipse an assessment may have in both the selection phase and the interpretation and use phase.

The dark side of assessment selection:

The first responsibility for the coach is selecting the appropriate assessment considering both client and their situation. The darkness threatening selection includes our own bias and the organization’s bias.

The Expert Coach Bias

Your selection of assessment has been shaped by your coach training as well as your specific coach experience. In other words, you have a bias toward a certain assessment or an assessment type.

As coaches, our own bias for specific assessment tools limits our potential impact. Consciously or not, this dark side appears when coaches choose the same tool for all clients. Rationalizing, we lean on our expertise and strategic partnerships – both warning signs of eclipse.

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  1. F. B. Green, Ph.D.

    November 13, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    I stopped reading this article upon seeing TWO typo errors in the first page. The first sentence uses the word ‘commitment’ when it should read ‘committed’. The second word used in error is ‘your select’ when it should read ‘your selection’. This “expert” author lost my interest right away and makes me question anything she has to say!


    • Suzi Pomerantz

      November 16, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      Oh my! Thank you so much for pointing the errors out to us, we will fix them right away. Let us know if you find others!


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