Coaching tools for the leadership development

DISC, Insights discovery, MBTI, etc.

Introduction. Personality models of personality ‘types’ and ‘traits’

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Which tool is more helpful for you to accompany the client’s development?

During the following articles we will be commenting on different coaching tools typically used in the accompaniment towards personal improvement. Either to facilitate self-knowledge or awareness of strengths and improvement opportunities; and the focusing on development processes.

These processes may refer to self-leadership development or even psychotherapy.

We will go through coaching tools such as: DISC, Insights Discovery, MBTI, Big five, TCI, BTSA, 16PF and Eneagrama.

We aim to offer to the professionals on this field –coach psychologists, coach consultants, and psychotherapists; especially the neophytes and anyone interested in coaching tools- a general view on their different options. According to their needs, they will decide which one will suit them better and will make them feel more resourceful in their field and/or complement their coaching training.

We will not include Predictive Index –exclusively used for leadership development and staff recruitment in companies- because it is not available to coaches and consultants and also for confidentiality purposes –I am a consultant of P.I. myself.

We will also not speak about the 360 company development improvement coaching tools, usually created specifically for each company. Besides, we also believe that when seeking awareness –sometimes on a person’s hidden features- it is not helpful for the information to be provided by others.

For each tool we will see, among other things, its origin, the model it is based on, the difficulty or easiness of its use and interpretation and its main applications.

We will also compare them to NeuroQuotient®. Similarities and differences. The advantages, and possible disadvantages, of their application. We will also explain the specific and differentiating features of NeuroQuotient®.

Trying to be as neutral as possible, we will not hide that we would like for some of you to reach the conclusion that NeuroQuotient® is the most convenient tool.

Generally speaking, all the coaching tools I mentioned (except for NeuroQuotient®, as we will see) refer to personality. And all of them, without exception, are based on a model.

It is very important to tell apart the tool and the model they are based on.

A personality model is used as a system to classify and interpret a person’s behaviour. The model has a theoretical basis (sometimes a hypothesis) from which the classifying criteria are derived.

There are two types of personality models: The ‘types’ model and the ‘traits’ one. The difference is in their classification methods: the ‘types’ model it is much more strict –introverted/extroverted, for example. A person can be either classified in one side of the spectrum or the other. The ‘traits’ models are presented as behavioural tendencies. These would regard introversion and extroversion as a part of a continuum, and individuals transiting between both sides of the spectrum.

Each evaluation tool (or instrument) is based on a model and it is used to identify personality types or specific individual traits; usually by answering a psychometric questionnaire.

Since there are hardly people with pure personality types, from a psychometric point of view the coaching tools based on traits measuring personalities as a continuum are more sensible. This is the reason why even when the original model is ‘types’, in most cases the tool ends up evolving to ‘traits’, or at least the measure instrument.


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The ‘personality types’ models tag and label people.

The ‘personality traits’ models leave more space and freedom for evolving and result improvement.

Only MBTI and Eneagrama stay purely as ‘types’. Others, as DISC, they classify people in some versions in a broad number of types after the psychometric measurement, but they are personality trait models in their basis.

Personality traits are defined by their own typical behaviours. Coaches can only observe the individual’s acts and doings. Type models include, besides behaviours, motivations, values, etc. activating behaviour.

Before starting introducing the different tools, we are going to bring up a couple of questions. Reflecting on them (in the following article) will be useful for us to start globally comparing the afore mentioned coaching tools with NeuroQuotient®, the neuro tool.

What do your results depend on?

What is easier to change: personality or behaviour?

2 thoughts on “Coaching tools for the leadership development

  1. Hola Josep,
    entiendo que la manera de hacer, la conducta, es más fácil. Cambiando esta podemos llegar a alterar la manera de ser, pero cambiar la personalidad, es casi imposible, al menos de manera consciente si no se crea una conducta que nos lleve al cambio. Y con todo y ello, esto lleva tiempo y regularidad en los nuevos hábitos de conductas que queramos llevar a cabo, cosa que en si, según la personalidad de uno pueda ser más o menos difícil para lograr el cambio.

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