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Online Assessments in Leadership Coaching

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While using assessments in service of coaching is not required as part of a coaching credential, it is a best practice. For the coach, having access to assessment data can enable the coach to quickly understand the coachee’s personality traits, values (drivers/motivators) and impact on others. While a coach would gather this information over time without self-report and 360 assessment, having quick access to this useful data enables the coach to partner more effectively with the coachee. Understanding the coachee’s personality traits and values enables the coach to flex, to best serve the coachee. Another clear benefit of having assessment data is that it supports the coach and coachee in quickly identifying strengths and development opportunities. Assessment data also enables coach, coachee and key stakeholders to more quickly craft actionable goals and a comprehensive development plan.

An important foundational element of an assessment process is that coachee’s benefit through increased self-awareness. Personality assessment data provides information about what “autopilot” looks like for a coachee. Knowing this makes it a lot easier for leaders to recognize when a situation requires them to disengage their autopilot and access behaviors that may be less natural for them and better suited to the situation at hand.

Ethics and Confidentiality

Confidentiality is foundational to every coaching ethics code. When using assessments in service of leadership coaching, it is important to have informed consent of the individual with full disclosure of the purpose and use of the assessment instrument. In coaching, a standard practice is for assessment data to be owned by the coachee or team taking the assessment. Given that the purpose of coaching is for development, it is critical that assessment data remain confidential. Having said that, since organizations invest in coaching and need to see a return on the investment, as a standard practice, the coach can support the coachee in identifying themes in the data to share with key stakeholders to enable key stakeholders to best support the coachee’s development. After the coach and coachee have met for an insight session to review and integrate the assessment data, it is a fairly standard practice to have the coach facilitate an alignment meeting with the coachee, coachee’s leader and HR business. Best practice is for the coachee to take the lead in sharing key strengths and development needs and seek feedback and input from key stakeholders. This sets the stage for accountability, an important element in a successful coaching outcome.

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