Coaching is a unique process that aims to help an individual identify and embrace their unique strengths and behavioral tendencies. Increasing one’s self-awareness unlocks hidden strengths, identifies areas for potential growth, and establishes a foundation to build an action plan focused on goal-oriented personal and professional development.
The DISC assessment is a tool coaches use to initiate the process of increasing an individual’s self-awareness by identifying behavioral styles. It allows the coach to develop an understanding of the individual’s strengths, motivators, and fears that aid the coach during client sessions. When appropriately applied, it can be life-changing. But what happens when someone seems hesitant or overall avoidant towards completing the assessment? Here are three considerations when offering a DISC assessment to avoid confusing or overwhelming a current or potential client:
Some people may liken the assessment to homework, and procrastinate or even decline to complete the assessment. Others may not yet feel comfortable with you as their coach, which could result in a potential barrier to communication in the future. Understand these assessments place people in a vulnerable position by revealing things they have yet to learn about themselves. Offer to send the assessment with the understanding that they, too, have busy lives and will need to find personal time with minimal distractions. If a face-to-face option is too overwhelming, offer to e-mail an online assessment they can complete on their own time and contact you when finished.
As a coach, it is essential to remember this is likely the first time a client has been introduced to the DISC assessment. Understanding will take time. Once a client has completed the report, it may take several follow-up sessions to effectively dissect and digest. Don’t assume just because they have received a copy of their DISC report means they have read the entire thing and now have a full understanding of themselves. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Plan sessions accordingly so you can introduce different components of the report, discuss results, and allow the client to identify areas in their life they can relate the results to for practical application.
As a DISC coach, it may be helpful to explain your own experience with the assessment and share some insights and growth areas you, the coach, have experienced. It can help the client establish trust, and a mental framework and mindset open to new concepts and ideas. For example, sharing stories of a husband and wife learning each other’s DISC styles to improve communication, or a boss who administered the DISC assessment to his employees to address conflict in the workplace would be great real-world applications to highlight. Sharing knowledge also helps establish trust between you and the client, further developing your coaching relationship that will lead to future success.
DISC is a powerful coaching tool that, when appropriately administered, has proven effective at connecting people with their strengths, improving relationships, and equipping people with a higher level of self-awareness to empower them to seek new and exciting opportunities in life.
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