Midterm Coaching Inventory
For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed taking assessments. Although there have been a few bad apples in the bunch, the majority of assessments that I have taken over the years always leave me with valuable insight into myself and my thought patterns. More importantly, I appreciate the information the assessment offers so that I can focus on my strengths and build upon them, as well as be aware of my weaknesses. As an upcoming coach, I also see the importance of giving assessments to my clients. Generally, assessments encourage individuals to answer questions they typically would be reluctant to. Additionally, assessments allow both the coach and the client to gain useful information and powerful insights, that may not be readily available through regular coaching sessions (Biswas-Diener, 2010).
The assessment that I took is called the Coaching Style Inventory. I also gave this assessment to my client, who is a partner in a law firm and has three direct reports. The Coaching Style Inventory consists of 12 workplace situations that the reader assesses. Following a brief description of the situation, the reader has 4 choices to choose from. The reader is required to number the choices from four to one, in order of the ones they find most effective. Depending on the way the reader chooses, their highest score will reveal their workplace coaching style. The reader may score higher in some area(s) and lower in others. Or, they may have a couple of areas in which they score highest, which would indicate a combination of coaching styles depending on the situation. An analysis of my score as well as my client’s score will indicate our individual coaching styles.
There are four coaching styles that the Coaching Styles Inventory assesses for: Expert, Guide, Developer and Catalyst. The Expert is mainly concerned with efficiency and effectively completing projects. Performance, technique, methods and tactics are important for the Expert. They are considered low risk takers and high controllers (Kendall, 2011). The second coaching style mentioned is The Guide. The Guide is chiefly concerned with matters of increasing skills and how to achieve overall goals and objectives. The Guide is a problem solver who is also low risk and high in the need for control. The Guide needs to create a working relationship (Kendall, 2011). The Developer is all about increasing capabilities. He or she will be interested in setting goals and planning for the future. The Developer is an emotional person who values interpersonal relationships. They are competent at influence and opening up new avenues (Kendall, 2011). Lastly, there is the Catalyst coaching style. The Catalyst is focused on values. The Catalyst is gifted in developing awareness and a sense of personal vision in their clients (Kendall, 2011). Like the Developer, the Catalyst is emotional and values interpersonal relationships. Additionally, the Developer focuses on incorporating values with relationships (Kendall, 2011). They are the high risk, low control coaching types.
The inventory took about 20 minutes to complete. The questions were very thought provoking and I found myself going back and forth over a few of the questions, trying to decide which response best fit my personality. After I finished the assessment, I had to score it. I noticed that the scoring instructions were not very user friendly. Scoring the assessment took almost as long as taking the assessment. Once I was finished scoring the assessment, I viewed my results and the description of my coaching style.
I scored highest in the Guide and the Developer, respectively. This score is compatible with how I see myself as a coach. I enjoy assisting people achieve their goals, as well as increase their capabilities. I also see the value in having goals and planning for the future. I would like to modify the “control” aspect of my coaching. I was not aware that I had this tendency until I took this inventory. I scored 37 as a Developer and 38 as a Guide. However, I see myself more as a Developer when it comes to coaching style.
My client scored highest as a Developer. His score was 41 with the rest of his coaching styles averaging in the 20’s. The Developer is his dominant style in the workplace. My client was not surprised with his score, as her related that the description of the Developer described him perfectly. He also expressed that while it was good to know what his style is, he is happy with it, because it has worked for him thus far. He has no plans to modify or alter his style.
In conclusion, I thought the Coaching Style was a useful and fairly accurate inventory of my coaching style. While I thought the scoring of the inventory was a bit tedious, overall I thought it was a fair description of coaching styles. My client also thought that the coaching inventory had good scenarios which were relatable to the workplace and were thought provoking. I would use this assessment for future clients and I think it is a valuable tool to start a conversation with my clients about how they relate to their employees and/or team members in the workplace. As far as using this assessment for coaches, I think it is better suited for workplace leadership styles than for coaching styles. The way I would handle a situation with my employee is very different than how I would handle a situation with my coaching client. It is a very different relationship.
- Biswas-Diener, R. (2010). Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching: Assessment, Activities and Strategies for Success. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- Kendall, J. (2011). Coaching Style Inventory [Measurement instrument]. Retrieved from: http://castletonconsulting.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/iCoaching_Style_Inventory.pdf.