Are tools inevitable in professional coaching ?

Are #tools inevitable in professional coaching ?

When I think about tools, here is what shows up in my mind : a hammer and a chisel, a milling machine, a laser.

When I hear my clients talk about their experience of tools in coaching, here is what they say…

« My MBTI test says I am « QSDF »
I am an introvert
I am red and somewhat yellow
I am neurodiverse, neurodivergent, hypersensitive and my relatives don’t understand me… »

I so often hear that kind of self statement, when I start a discussion with people trying to negociate a change in their lives, and understand themselves better. To my ear, those words try to sum up what the person has understood from themselves, thought a tool, an assessment, a questionnaire, a personality profile… And triggers my curiosity to discover what is hidden behind this statement.

What are the advantages of tools in supporting people ?

Considering the well known tests (MBTI, DISC…), advantages are simplicity and easy understanding and debriefing. Or even a self use, without specific debriefing skills training. And sometimes also a compulsory step in a company’s training or leadership program.

However, the limits are to fall into human #caricature and #boxing. Plus denial of Human’s #complexity, #richness and #nuance.

So, facing an overabundant and attractive offer of tools, some of them robust, some known worldwide, some innovative, or even « life changing », here are some key safeguard questions :

As a client, what tool is appropriate for you, and what for ?

As a coach, what do you need ? What does your client need ? In a company, the question is often systemic : is your client the contractor, or purchase service, or the Human Ressource service ; or the coachee benefiting the coaching ? What is fuelling your tool supplier ? What is the expected Return On Investment ?