Pitfalls of Assessment Tests

Pitfalls of Assessment Tests



This is exactly why I do not use standardized assessment tools on my executive coaching clients:

…one of the main hindrances to coaching was understanding people as collections of fixed properties with desire attached.


…by using assessment models this way we are reinforcing our understanding of people as things, and this way of understanding makes any effective coaching impossible or nearly so.


…it assumes that the person is a thing which can be found out about, figured out, and predicted.

–James Flaherty of New Ventures West
Chapter Six of Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others (Third Edition)

Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others

Focus Point



Focus PointI do some balancing postures as part of my yoga practice, standing on one foot while stretching my body. The people who taught me these postures said to “find a point some distance away and hold your gaze on it” while in the posture. I resisted doing this, preferring to let my eyes wander during the stretch. Besides, I know how to balance. It is just a matter of holding your body in the proper position. So, I wobbled or fell.

Now, I remind myself to choose a distinct object as a focus point: the corner of a doorway or the center of a flower. While holding the posture I often notice my eye wandering. And my body wavering. I can only regain my balance by (more…)

Marshall Goldsmith Misrepresents Executive Coaching, Again.

Alessandro Bianchi

Marshall Goldsmith, nearly always introduced as “America’s foremost executive coach,” has written some fine books and helped many executives. My only complaint is that what he does, in my experience, is advising and consulting not executive coaching.

The vital difference is evident in his post today at the Harvard Business Review website, How to Spot the Uncoachables. Goldsmith describes his executive coaching clients in negative terms more appropriate to a particularly judgmental therapist than a respectful coach: “wrong direction,” “fix behavior,” and “It’s hard to help people who don’t think they have a problem.”

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? (more…)