Why use a profiling tool as a coach?

There are hundreds if not thousands of profiling tools used by coaches worldwide. In this article, John Smallwood, Master Coach and Coach Principal of the Engenesis Coach Academy, explains the value of profiling tools and why he recommends them to coaches and clients alike. He also reveals the profiling tool he chooses to use with every one of his clients and five key benefits it delivers.

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Jun 02, 2022

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5 mins read
Why use a profiling tool as a coach?

As a coach and coach facilitator, I’m frequently asked, “Why do you use a profiling tool? Is it really necessary to use one? Do profiling tools deliver significant value, and what difference will they make?” I’ve been using various profiling tools for over a decade as an integral part of my coaching practice, and I am very clear on their value for my clients. Many of the coaches I know use a range of different tools to support their clients; however, an equal number prefer not to use them at all. So what difference do profiling assessment tools really make for both the coach and their client? And which profiling tool is appropriate to use with potential and existing coaching clients and why?

Before coaching, I had primarily used or come across profiling tools as part of the recruitment process. Indeed, the vast majority of assessments I had completed over the years had been while applying for different job roles or internal promotions and performance reviews. I invariably considered them a test or hurdle I had to manage to qualify for the next stage in securing a position or advancement in my career. Some of these profiles were lengthy, detailed and complex, while others were short, simple and basic. However, the one common denominator in each instance was that they stood between me and the role I was applying for. So when I first started coaching and looked at profiling assessment tools from a coaching perspective, I was somewhat sceptical about their actual value in supporting either the coach or their client. 

There is a significant difference between using a profiling assessment tool for recruitment purposes and using it as part of a coaching relationship. When going for a job or promotion, our natural inclination is to do our best to manage the impression we create for a potential employer or supervisor. Our desire to impress may make us inclined to answer the assessment questions in a way that we think will provide the ‘best’ responses for success, which may deliver a distorted outcome. Some tools incorporate features to detect this element of impression management, and it is important to be aware of this potential for bias. 

When considering an assessment tool for coaching purposes, I always ensure that it is appropriate for my client and supports them in identifying potential areas they may want to address. I want a tool that uncovers areas that may be hidden from my client’s view or awareness and, in particular, reveals areas that are coachable and facilitates transformation. 

The profiling assessment tool I use with every client and why

I commence every coaching engagement with a new client by requesting they complete a profile. In my case, the profile I invariably use is the Being Profile. The Being Profile® is a unique ontometric assessment tool, specifically designed for coaches to support their clients. Below are five key benefits that it delivers.

  1. Accuracy and detail – The Being Profile is incredibly accurate with a significant body of research sitting behind it that supports its results and application. Completed online, the coachee is presented with a series of over 200 probing questions that are used to measure their relationship with a number of qualities intrinsic to all human beings and critical to effectiveness, fulfilment and wellbeing. The questionnaire adopts a complex, multi-layered approach to factor in the numerous interrelationships that exist between those qualities. Because of this complex set of interrelationships, the Being Profile is continually refined and enhanced to more effectively support people to understand these key elements and the role they are playing in their lives and the subsequent results they produce.
  2. Professional support and guidance –  To get the most value from your Being Profile assessment, I always recommend using a trained coach or accredited practitioner to support the client in interpreting all of their results accurately. As both a practitioner and coach, I find the process of going through the results face to face with a new client incredibly insightful and valuable. I love the process and especially how it supports my client by looking beyond their behaviour or personality traits and how each area it uncovers is coachable and can be transformed. Importantly, it also supports your client in distinguishing the value of working with a coach by giving them an indication of what that partnership may look like.
  3. The opportunity to connect at a deeper level – The debrief session provides both potential new clients and their coach with the opportunity to get to know each other before they embark on their coaching journey. It supports them both by getting to the heart of some of the underlying issues a coaching client is facing and provides clarity and alignment on the direction the client may wish to go.
  4. Provides an access to personal transformation – I often use the analogy of a blood test when referring to completing a profile with my clients as it provides us both with an accurate picture of what is going on beneath the surface. The Being Profile brings into clear view the areas that are often hidden and are required to address during the process of coaching. In so doing, this then creates a new awareness, impetus and subsequent access for their personal transformation.
  5. Saves time and money – This Being Profile dramatically simplifies and reduces both time and money invested by getting to the root cause of issues quickly in one simple process. A typical first debrief session will usually take around two hours and is considered a valuable investment as uncovering the same issues over coaching sessions could take several weeks or months to achieve.

Every coach wants to support their client in achieving the optimal outcome, and of the many tools we have at our disposal, a powerful and accurate diagnostic tool is, without doubt, the best place to start. If you are curious about how you could introduce and use the Being Profile as a coach or are interested in becoming accredited to use the Being Profile, contact me directly, or access additional information at www.beingprofile.com.

CoachingTransformationBeing ProfileBeing FrameworkBeingOntological Coach

John Smallwood

About The Author

Coach Principal of the Engenesis Coach Academy, John is an ontologically trained leadership coach and Thrive Master Coach, coach Trainer and facilitator accredited across multiple methodologies. John has a deep appreciation of and powerful insights into how leaders determine the optimal performance of their teams and organizations.

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