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One of the most common lines of questioning we get from participants in our coaching program has to do with the use of assessments. Yet in scanning the available resources on the subject over the past 6 years, I've only located one useful book focused on the topic, "Psychometrics in Coaching: Using Psychological and Psychometric Tools for Development" edited by Jonathan Passmore; however as the title of the book suggest, psychological based assessments in only approach to assessment and measurement.

In response to this line of inquiry, I put together a short think piece, that:

  • Presents Four General Categories of Assessments;
  • Provides Samples from Each Category of Commercially Available Instruments or Tools (with websites where possible); and
  • Describes structure of thinking about the use of assessments as part of a broader approach to determining the effectiveness of coaching engagements.

At the end of the piece I provide a citation to a recent article written by Hagen and Peterson (2014) that presents a comparative analysis of coaching scales. I would love to hear your: (a) reactions to the "think piece" posted here (i.e., what is useful, what questions do you have, etc.); (b) recommendations for additional examples of tools in any of the 4 quadrants presented in Figure 1; and (c) experiences with using various assessments as part of your coaching practice.

In reviewing what I've written it this "piece" it occurs to be, for example, that each of these categories of assessments have associated strengths and limitations, yet I do not speak of these explicitly - an idea for an update. Related to this point, in my practice, where ever possible, I try to identify one assessment from each of the 4 quadrants to help expand client awareness from multiple perspectives and dimensions.

I look forward to hearing from many of you!




NOTE: I reviewed the links from the initial post on 10.10.14 to: (1) reflect Jay's correction on Page 4 references 160 feedback, where it should have been listed as 180/upward feedback (the figure was correct, yet not the text) and (2) post an MS Word version so that the links are easier to use.


NOTE 2: I've also posted a PDF of the article entitled "Crafting Effective Executive Coaching Engagements" published in Choice Magazine this Fall (Volume 12, Number 3).


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  • Greetings Terry,

    I use the Profiles International suite of assessments with leaders, particularly the ProfileXT(tm) (PXT) and the Checkpoint Leadership Competency 360.  The PXT is a normative assessment and arrays a leader's thinking style (can they do the job?) and their behavioral traits (how they will do the job) along a bell curve.  It's been very helpful for leader's to see if they are more independent, or more sociable or more intuitive than the people they lead.  It's a full employee lifecycle tool (selection and hiring, on-boarding, coaching and development, and succession planning.)  You can learn more at

    The current issue of Choice Magazine is devoted to Assessments in the coaching field.

    Warmly, Siobhan

    • Siobhan, thanks for sharing this suite, I will take a look. Using the four quadrants, if you were to list the elements/assessments in this suite, how would you place each in the 4 quadrants? I'm interested in collecting these and updating a matrix that includes more tools.

      I've read the Spring/Summer issue of Choice, there are some useful structures for organizing various assessments as well. I think having such structures help to make sense of the volume and range of assessments available. Looking forward to your additional insights.

      • Terry,  Here are the categories for the assessments I mentioned:

        The ProfileXT(tm) and it's sales corollary, the Profiles Sales Assessment are Individual, High Structure.

        The Checkpoint 360 is Multiple, High Structure.

  • Hi Terry,

    The Resilience at Work Questionnaire (RAW-Q) was created by Karlin Sloan & Company as an executive coaching tool for self assessment. It is well researched and provides a snapshot of leadership resilience attributes in the form of a “Leadership Resilience Profile", as well as warning signs for derailing. It has specific reports on positive and negative self-talk that can provide invaluable insights for leaders. The organization also has a debrief guidebook for coaches that makes working through the assessment results simple and straightforward.  Both the assessment and the guidebook are featured in the Karlin Sloan & Company store:



    • Hi Lou, thanks for bringing this assessment to our attention and the suggested quadrant, I will review and include in my update that I will share with the group.

  • Hi Terry,

    In my opinion, the COI should be in the self assessment category as that is how it is administered.  And, similarly to other self assessments, a debrief by a coach certified in the assessment is needed for take full advantage of the information.

    By the way, last year the The Cultural Orientations Indicator was substantially modified and it would be interesting to have Joerg Schmitz lead a demo on the changes.


  • Dear Terry,

    Your article is a wonderful cataloging and thought provoking piece on assessments.......congratulations!

    In today's diverse workplace, The Cultural Orientations Indicator by Berlitz is an assessment that I have been using with clients of non US origin and US origin.  It allows my clients to recognize their own cultural norms and compare them to countries where they work as well as the culture of the people with whom they work.  The awareness of different cultural norms and unconscious biases enables skill development and practical application to effectively communicate with cultural competence in a variety of professional, managerial and leadership situations.

    Here is the web address:

    I am looking forward to the October coaching conference.


    Michael Cassatly

    • Michael,

      I understand that Joerg is no longer with Berlitz, I've reached out to him recently. I hope to hear from him, when I do, I'll ask: (a) if he is still involved in this tool and (b) if so, I'll ask him to lead a demo sometime soon. If he does so, I'll post a recording here and/or invite members to the community to the demo.


    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for sharing the "Cultural Orientation Indicator" assessment by Berlitz! I think it is a great tool, which I've only used a few times, yet liked the potential! Several years back, Joerg Schmitz, one of the assessment tool's creator's lead a demo for us on "coaching across cultures," which was well received. I recently had a conversation with Joerg and understand he is now on his own, so there maybe opportunities to collaboration!

      Question: based on your experience with the COI, which category would you place it, and why, so I can update the document?

      Resources: for those interested in learning more about this work, Joerg Schmitz published 2 books that I find both useful, yet easy to read: (1) Cultural Orientations Guide (I have the 5th edition) and (2) The Guide for Inclusive Leaders.

  • Dr. Maltbia,

    I appreciate this article greatly. I think it's very helpful to thoughtfully position the use of assessments in the coaching process. This article integrats assessments into the broader coaching flow. A leader must become self-aware before significant growth or change can occur.  Feedback is crucial in this process.  An assessment provides a structured way for leaders to get the feedback that they need in an impactful way.  I particularly liked the six steps you identified for the effective use of assessments.  They provide a useful checklist to make certain that we maximize the benefit when using assessments with our clients.  I also like the four boxes that you have provided to categorize the various types of assessments.  Thanks much for a useful thought piece.  [One quick note - in the article you mention 360 and 160 feedback reports; I thought that they were 180 feedback reports, as opposed to 160.] 

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