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The Value of Leadership Coaching Assessments

New Year - New YOU!

The Bradley Partnership’s (TBP) previous blog entitled, ”Why Should I Hire a Coach?” mentioned how our coaches use various assessments to obtain an understanding of an individual’s leadership strengths, emotional intelligence, and personality. This blog will cover assessments in more detail.

The Why:

An executive/leadership development coaching program without assessments can lead to coaching on the symptoms vs. the problems. Executives have an “identity” of who they believe should be in a leadership role, but it’s the person’s “reputation” as seen by their direct reports, peers and supervisors that will enable success. Identity and reputation often don’t align, and without an assessment, those hidden blind spots of strengths and challenges, can lead to less effective or even failure of leadership. To really understand reputation, a 360 assessment, where supervisors, peers, direct reports, and the client, evaluate the client on leadership qualities are necessary. The results when fed back to the client will enable insight into the strengths and challenges of their leadership. This will enable coaching objectives to be properly focused.

As a good bit of our leadership style and philosophy is based upon ‘who we are’- one’s natural personality, a leader may have minimal awareness of themselves and how their behaviors can be constructive or destructive. Although personality is not changeable, addressing a leader’s behavior can be addressed. There are numerous ‘psychometric assessments’ that can be used to enable an understanding of the personality side of leadership. Some are broader, such as the DISC model and others such as the Hogan Performance Surveys are more granular and detailed. The end benefit of ‘knowing oneself’ is being able to focus on strengths while creating coaching objectives to enhance one's behaviors. Additionally, personality awareness frequently sheds light on the reputation challenges identified in a 360 assessment.

The following are our Top 5 Leadership Assessment Considerations:

  • Is the leader willing to change their behaviors and be open to taking an assessment? A willingness to have their leadership assessed demonstrates what is expected and supported in the organization. Assessments provide data and can bring forth ‘challenging realities’ that can be unsettling for some.

  • How long has the leader been in the organization or in their new role? For a 360 assessment to be effective, the leader should have at least six months, but preferably a year, in order for the assessment to be accurate. The higher in the organization, assessments are critical as the level of responsibility and influence on the leadership culture becomes greater.

  • What is the purpose of the coaching? Is it to solve a specific issue, performance coaching, or is for broad development for success at the next level, high potential coaching? For a specific issue, assessments may or may not be as critical. For high potential development the awareness or personality and reputation will be important to ensure readiness for that next level.

  • Is the coach qualified and experienced at conducting assessments and debriefing them? Most assessments have certification programs for “the coach” (aka debriefers). If the debriefer is not qualified with experience it can cause more damage than benefit.

TBP’s team of professional coaches are qualified in using various assessments mentioned in this blog. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can support your leadership development with assessments, please review our capabilities at and contact us at

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