Integrating personality data into the coaching process can lead to deeper insights and more tailored solutions for your coachees.
Many well-known coaching methods can be combined with data on the personality structure of the coachees, creating an additional level of analysis that makes it possible to open up new perspectives for the coachees.
Below you will find five examples of integrating personality data into work with classic coaching methods.
Inner team: In the inner team, divergent thoughts and emotions on a topic are systematically recorded and analyzed in order to gain more clarity or make a decision. With the help of personality-related data, the coachee better understands where the individual voices in the team come from and which aspects of personality they represent.
Example: In the conversation between coach and coachee, the voice “The Fearful” can perhaps be clearly assigned to the personality dimension “Sensitivity” and the underlying facet “Social Confidence”, while the voice “The Visionary” can clearly be assigned to the area “Openness” with the facet “Conceptual innovation” arises (all of the personality dimensions mentioned arise from the Big Five model of personality). This information will of course help immensely with the later classification and critical reflection of the voices.
Drivers and beliefs: Many coaching approaches focus on identifying and reassessing motivational drivers and internalized beliefs. Personality data can shed light on deep-seated motives and personality-related beliefs that influence the coachee’s behavior and decision-making. Beliefs and drivers can almost always be assigned to personality dimensions, which enables a more in-depth analysis.
Example: “Only those who achieve something are successful people” comes from the “performance orientation” facet in the “conscientiousness” area.
Value squares: The aim of the value squares according to Friedemann Schulz von Thun is a change of perspective in the course of an internal or external conflict. In doing so, our own core values are critically questioned. Information about the personality of the coachee can be helpful in understanding the origin of one’s own values and those of others.
Example: The egoism perceived in the other person may simply turn out to be a strong manifestation of a healthy competitive orientation when looking at the topic of personality.
Transactional analysis: This method describes various parameters of interactions between people. By including personality data, the coach and coachee can better understand why certain transactions or communication styles could be problematic for the coachee, for example, because they do not fit their personality structure.
Visualization and vision of the future: Here the coachee is instructed to imagine their ideal future. With knowledge of their personality traits, the coach can ask more targeted questions and support the coachee in developing a more realistic and more accurate picture of the future.
Where does the data on personality in coaching come from?
The identification of personality-related data can either take place directly during coaching using suitable questioning techniques and methods or the data can be collected using a written personality analysis suitable for coaching purposes. The latter obviously saves a lot of time and, in the best case, provides a systematic and structured information base including a clear visualization of all relevant personality dimensions.
However, it is important to ensure that the personality model used is suitable for depicting the personality of the coachee in a differentiated manner. Stereotypical models in which personality is divided into so-called types (blue, green, moderator, type A, etc.) are therefore unsuitable for working with the coaching methods described. Instead, a process should be used that reflects the different building blocks of personality and is therefore compatible with different coaching methods. Above all, the motives, character traits, and skills should be mentioned here as central elements of personality, which make different aspects of the methods described above visible.