What is the place for psychometrics in coaching?

Sarah and Gregor discuss the use of psychometrics in coaching. Sarah is a qualified Occupational Psychologist and Gregor is qualified in several tools.

We use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) quite a lot to illustrate our points as we believe the MBTI is one of the most popular tools in use in coaching.

Other psychometrics mentioned include Insights Discovery™ and the Hogan Development Survey (sometimes called the Dark Side tool)

Gregor mentions a book title – ‘I’m not Mad, I’m Just Not You!’ but for the life of him, he can’t find the reference!

Oftentimes, coaches are selected because they are trained in how to use a particular psychometric. An organisation might have a preference for a particular tool and this becomes part of the language of that organisation (e.g. One is very blue and red) and so it helps to be able to understand and share in this as a coach and be able to use this to add value to the coaching relationship. This also helps in team dynamics.

You can argue that a coach and coachee investing time at the start of the coaching relationship taking a deep dive into the coachee’s personality is time very well spent. Exploring self awareness and generally inform the goals for the coaching.


When is it appropriate to use psychometrics?

Depends on the goals of the coaching (coachee may offer to share results with you and/or sponsor may request it).

Deeper insights/self awareness. Deeper understanding of the coachee’s own inner drivers and perceptions which shape their behaviours, and ultimately their results. Particularly relevant if you are exploring performance improvement and leadership topics in the coaching (e.g. engagement survey or 360 – someone perceived as a bit of a bully)


Top Tips:

It’s only a lens, a tool to get you to the destination (not the destination itself)

For coaches “Use it or lose it” – get comfortable with using one tool well before training in another

Watch your language! You are not ENTJ, you have ENTJ preferences. You are not red, you lead with red energy and still have the other three coloured energies present in a particular order. Your profile will be different under stress.