Three Reasons for Coaches to use Assessments to Forward Your Client’s Action

By Delaney Tosh

There are thousands of assessments on the market that coaches could consider using in their coaching business.  Part of a coach’s role is to determine, in conjunction with the client, if an assessment would be useful and to determine best fit for their client in helping that client gain awareness and forward their learning and growth.

What are the reasons a coach would consider using an assessment and how would it benefit the client?

A starting point and a structure for the coaching

An assessment helps identify the current state – it establishes a baseline. The coaching relationship is a journey and the client in on a journey of learning, self-discovery and growth. An assessment can identify some starting points and provide the coach with something to structure the coaching conversation towards learning and action. With the coach, the client can establish a road map for their growth and for setting actions.

Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Clients come to coaching with some goals and a desire to make changes that will support them in achieving those goals. An assessment can provide information that supports the client in examining how she operates. It is an opportunity for self-reflection and the window to self-awareness.

Central to growth and change is the ability to see how you operate in the world and in relationship with others, and the ability to see yourself as others experience you. This is the key to developing emotional intelligence.

Measuring success

Using an assessment to identify the current state provides a baseline from which to measure growth. The client has an objective set of data that can show where attention and actions are needed and then where growth has occurred,and where further attention is needed, especially if the coach uses an assessment to re-assess after the coaching relationship has progressed over a period of time.

Once a coach has determined that using an assessment will be of benefit for the client, the next question the coach would consider is:

  • Which is the best assessment for the client?

A few examples of assessments:

Myers Briggs (MBTI)
DiSC Profile
Barrett Personal Values Assessment (PVA) – It’s free
Barrett Leadership Values Development Report
EQ in Action
Strengths Deployment Inventory
Leadership Practices Inventory (360)
StandOut Assessment
Strong Interest Inventory
Barrett Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT)
The Leadership Circle

And there are hundreds more!  You need to explore with your client what will be most meaningful for them and which type of assessment will help deliver that meaning. Some assessments require the participation of colleagues and superiors, while some are self-assessments, so the logistics require discussion with your client. Another factor to consider is budget.

Finally, the coach would ask:

  • What is the best way to use an assessment throughout the coaching relationship?

The answer really depends on the type of coaching you do and the needs and goals of your client, as well as whether or not the coaching is sponsored by the client’s employer.  An important thing to consider is that an assessment only becomes useful towards growth and change when it is used throughout the coaching process as a dynamic tool.

For answers to these questions, tune in to VI Coaches’ upcoming webinar on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 when Yvonne Mann will lead a discussion on choosing assessments and how to use assessments to lead your client to action. Click here for details and registration.

Continuing Coaching Education: NLP Practitioner

June 5-10 & June 13-18 (96 hours)
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Erickson College, Vancouver, BC
CCEU: 84 (24 of which are core competencies)

Description: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the systemic study of human communication and how we create our reality. It is an integration of several disciplines such as neurology, psychology, linguistics, cybernetics and systems theory. The name was chosen by the co-developers of NLP to reflect that unique synthesis. More about NLP.

Details & Registration

Continuing Coaching Education: Whole-Self-Journey Practitioner Accreditation Program

Program consists of 3 workshops running May & June, 2013
CCEU: 49 (28 Core Competencies, 21 Resource Development)
Details & Registration



  • Whole-Self-Alchemy One-Day Workshop (Choose May 1 or May 4) 9:30-4:00pm
  • May 2 – June 20: 8-Session Online Whole-Self-Journey Orientation
  • June 10-12: In-person 3-day Residential Practitioner Accreditation

This course offers a complete and transformational set of tools to use with clients by providing you with a rich, inspiring system for individuals, groups, in private or professional settings.

You will learn a new and unique system that allows you to dive deeper from the first coaching session to support your clients on their journey of personal transformation and to build and market your own practice and business.

Webinar: Conversational Tools for Building Even Stronger Client Relationships

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
7:00pm – 8:30pm
CCEU: 1.5 Core Competencies
Facilitator: Beth Page, MSOD

Details & Registration

Learn additional conversational tools for supporting and sustaining strong relationships.

The Science & Practice of Coaching Abrasive Leaders

3.5 day seminar
April 10-13, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

CCEU: 24 (12 Core Competencies, 12 Resource Development)

Description: Abrasive leaders rub their coworkers the wrong way. These individuals present a significant challenge for the executive coach: unable or unwilling to see the impact of their destructive styles on coworkers and on the greater organization, they can be highly resistant to traditional coaching methods. This 3.5-day intensive seminar is designed to train you in the specific steps involved in successfully coaching abrasive leaders and professionals, and is limited to ten participants.

Presented by: The Boss Whispering Institute

Facilitator: Laura Crawshaw, Ph.D

Details & Registration

Continuing Coaching Education: Conflict Management Coaching Workshop

Conflict Management Coaching Workshop – South San Francisco
March 5-8, 2013
8:30 am – 4:30 pm all 4 days (~32 hours) 
CCEU: 28 (23 hours ICF Core Competencies, 5 hours Resource Development)

Details & Registration

Description: Interested in learning how to better coach people through conflict? Looking for a unique and dynamic training opportunity to earn CEU’s? Then, please join Toronto-based Conflict Management Coaching pioneer, Cinnie Noble in the San Francisco Bay Area for her dynamic ICF accredited conflict coaching workshop. Conflict Coaching is a specialized coaching niche as well as being a great tool for organizational development and human resource professionals, conflict resolution practitioners, ombudspeople, etc.

Vancouver Island Coaches Learn About Systems Approach to Coaching Relationships

On October 16th many of us had the pleasure of spending 3 hours with Juhree Zimmerman who presented a workshop on Relationship Systems Intelligence. Juhree has recently made Victoria her home and we are pleased that we were able to tap into her wealth of knowledge and

expertise and provide this in-depth professional development workshop.

Juhree took us through an experiential and interactive presentation on the power of intelligence within relationships, gave us an overview of theory on relationship systems and we walked away with a coaching tool that provides us with an expanded ability to help our clients understand the deeper nature of relationships issues and how to move the relationship forward. Juhree also provided us with some follow-up resources which were sent to all the workshop attendees afterwards.

The turnout was excellent for this workshop with 20 coaches from our Vancouver Island community in attendance and it was wonderful to see attendees that came from the consulting and project management communities, as well.

Feedback from the workshop:

I enjoyed the mix of theory and the partner practice.

Some very thought provoking

ideas – it made me think of the value of “who, what and why” of relationships and the role of “relationship”.

A nice tool that I can use to compliment my “current coaching toolbox”.

For news on upcoming professional development events and webinars, visit our Events pages.

Webinar: Coaching Abrasive Leaders: Dealing with Defensiveness

Tuesday , January 8, 2013
7:00PM – 8:30PM

Facilitator: Laura Crawshaw, Ph.D.
CCEU: 1.5 Core Competencies



Abrasive leaders rub their coworkers the wrong way. These executives, managers, and professionals (including physicians and attorneys) who engage in interpersonally aggressive behavior (also known as workplace bullies) exact a high price in terms of both employee emotional distress and costs to the organization. At the same time, employers feel helpless to intervene, especially when dealing with an abrasive leader whose technical expertise is of critical importance to the organization.

Executive coaches are perfectly positioned to offer a solution to workplace bullying through the specialty practice of coaching abrasive leaders. Participants will learn of a coaching model which incorporates action research and concepts derived from evolutionary psychology, emotional intelligence theory, and the Dr. Crawshaw’s research. Through case examples and discussion, participants will gain insight into why bosses bully, how to distinguish an abrasive leader from other types (e.g. adequate, irritating, avoidant and aberrant executives) and how to quickly establish a trusting coaching alliance.

The presentation will cover specific techniques to overcome characteristic client defensiveness, develop awareness, and help abrasive leaders relinquish their destructive management styles in favor of interpersonally-productive strategies. Even coaches who elect not to coach abrasive executives will benefit from learning how to defuse client defensiveness encountered with non-abrasive clients. Please join Dr. Crawshaw in learning about this professionally rewarding, specialty coaching niche that offers rapid, permanent solutions for employers struggling to address workplace bullying.

About the Facilitator:

Laura Crawshaw, Ph.D., BCC founded the Executive Insight Development Group in 1994, and The Boss Whispering Institute in 2009. Executive Insight specializes in coaching abrasive leaders at all levels, and has served an international clientele of corporations over the past eighteen years, including over 40 Fortune 500 companies. The Boss Whispering Institute is dedicated to research and training in the field of coaching abrasive leaders. More specifically, the Institute’s mission is to reduce individual and organizational suffering caused by workplace bullying. Dr. Crawshaw has been training coaches, consultants, and conflict specialists worldwide and recently established a research initiative between the Boss Whispering Institute and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to conduct research on the Boss Whispering® method.

Dr. Crawshaw’s book, Taming the Abrasive Manager: How to End Unnecessary Roughness in the Workplace (Jossey-Bass Management Series), was released in 2007. She has published chapters in Workplace Bullying: Symptoms and Solutions (2012, Routledge) and in No Winner Ever Got There Without a

Coach (2012, Insight Publishing).Dr. Crawshaw speaks internationally at workplace bullying, management, and coaching conferences; most recently as a keynote presenter at the Eighth International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment in Copenhagen. For more information on Dr. Crawshaw’s work, please go to .

Webinar: Team Coaching with Dr. Catherine Carr

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
7:00PM – 8:00PM

Facilitator: Catherine Carr, M.ED, D.Prof, RCC, PCC
CCEU: 1 Core Competency



Ever wonder where to start when coaching a team? Or are you an experienced Team Coach who wants to gauge your practice with what research tells us really makes teams effective versus what we think works?

Team Coaching is a powerful approach that supports team members to connect, learn, and ultimately support and inspire each other to higher performance. Join Catherine in this VI Coaches Webinar as she discusses the topic of Team Coaching and the research she has done on high performing teams.

About the Facilitator:

Catherine Carr has two businesses, one in Leadership and Team Coaching and one is Counselling and Coaching. She is also a Performance Coach for the Talent Management Division of the British Columbia Public Service Agency and registered clinical counselor. She has many years of experience working with leaders, groups and organizations. She specializes in relationship and systemic approaches, Leadership Coaching, Group and Team Coaching, program facilitation and supervision.

Catherine has a doctorate in Leadership Development and Executive Coaching through Middlesex University, UK, and collaborated on entitled: “The experience and impact of Team Coaching: a dual case study”. For more information about Catherine please visit her websites at or

Teleseminar: Presence Based Coaching Introductory Experience

Thursday, December 13, 2012
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Description: This free teleseminar is being offered to give an experience of what Presence Based Coaching is prior to the course coming to BC in February 2013. It will provide an overview, a live demo, and have time for questions and answers. Presence Based Coaching expands our capacity to be present with our clients and to increase their awareness of their presence, allowing for more choice points and sustained change. It draws from diverse felds of executive coaching, somatics, neuropsychology, mindfulness and polarity mangement to create a uniquely practical and theoretically grounded developmental model of coaching. The books associated with this training are The Mindful Coach and Presence Based Coaching, both by Doug Silsbee. To learn more about Presence Based Coaching explore

Facilitators: Doug Silsbee, PCC & Bebe Hansen, MSSW, ACC