There are a number of assessments you can use to find out what your own learning style, emotional intelligence (EI), personality and leadership style. It is helpful for clients to assess themselves before coaching; in my experience, executives who are interested in self-assessment are more commitments to the development process and benefit from more insights and AHA moments during coaching sessions.
I am currently becoming accredited in two behaviour assessment tools including Insights and Process Communication. Until such time, there are a number of free assessment tools you can use. As I aim to lead by example, why not look at my results for inspiration.
If you complete these self assessments, it is important to remember that most people are a mix of types.
Honey and Mumford
Peter Honey and Alan Mumford’s assessment tool was inspired by Kolb’s Learning Cycle; now used globally to establish how individuals learn best. Number 12 of Peter Honey and Alan Mumford’s learning values is: “It is your duty to share your learning and spread your best practices” is not a lived-value since you cannot download his questions without paying for them which is not sharing.
However, I completed a ‘free’ version of the Honey and Mumford Learning questionnaire. My preferred style is Activist and the description is very accurate: “You learn by student-centred activities, preferably unstructured where you have the opportunity to lead! You immerse yourself fully in new, immediate experiences. You are open-minded instead of sceptical and have an enthusiastic approach to anything new. Your days are filled with activity. You thrive though the challenge of new experiences but as soon as the initial excitement dies down you get busy looking for the next! You are social and love being surrounded by other people.”
You can download a free version of Howard and Gardner’s test here: Below are my results from this self assessment test.
- My intelligence type is 7: “Intrapersonal and this indicates that my own preferred learning style is self-reflection and discovery which is accurate”.
- Intelligence description: “self-awareness, personal cognisance, personal objectivity, the capability to understand oneself, one’s relationship to others and the world, and one’s own need for, and reaction to change”
- Typical roles, preferences, potential: “arguably anyone who is self-aware and involved in the process of changing personal thoughts, beliefs and behaviour in relation to their situation, other people, their purpose and aims – in this respect there is a similarity to Maslow’s Self-Actualisation level, and again there is clear association between this type of intelligence and what is now termed ‘Emotional Intelligence’ or EQ”
- Related tasks, activities or tests: “Consider and decide one’s own aims and personal changes required to achieve them (not necessarily reveal this to others); consider one’s own ‘Johari Window’, and decide options for development; consider and decide one’s own position in relation to the Emotional Intelligence model”
- Preferred learning style: “self-reflection, self-discovery”
You can download a free version of VAK Model test here: Below are my results from this self assessment test.
I am mainly Kinaesthetic blended with Visual. “Someone with a Kinaesthetic learning style has a preference for physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences. These people will use phrases such as ‘let me try’, ‘how do you feel?’ and will be best able to perform a new task by going ahead and trying it out, learning as they go. These are the people who like to experiment, hands-on, and never look at the instructions first!”
Kolb’s learning styles
I am blend of Accommodating and Diverging. These learning styles conflict in terms of ‘doing’ – Divulging suggests I prefer to watch rather than do. I enjoy brainstorming and idea generation and am excited when coaching clients come up with new ideas. My learning style is also ‘accommodating’ which means I am ‘hands-on’ and am attracted to new ideas and experiences. I also have good intuition skills which is essential for coaching because it helps me to be ‘in tune’ with my clients. There is a natural gap of Conceptualisation (Thinking) which allows my clients to have time to think (Arnold J, 2009).
Myers Briggs is not a free assessment test. I completed an assessment at a recent Leadership Academy and it revealed that I was ENTJ (Extravert 73%, Intuitive 75%, Thinking 57% and Judging 62%). This aligns with VAK, Kolb and Mumford and Honey. The ENTJ personality profile suggests that I am a natural leader and I see things from a long-range perspective. I don’t like to see mistakes repeated and I know I would find it difficult if a client continually failed to obtain his goals. ThE ENTJ does naturally like to interact with people which is useful for my role in executive coaching.
Download free authentic happiness self assessment:
I really enjoyed taking the “VIA Survey of Character Strengths test” and was thrilled by my results. I have only listed the top five strengths. These have given me a boost of confidence and I feel I can now lead by example in these elements during coaching sessions.
Strength 1: Leadership – I excel at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. I do a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen. This is true as I have organized many charitable events raising £000s for charity. This would really help me for group facilitation when I am ready to start on this. I feel much more confident to use myself as an instrument here.
Strength 2: Curiosity and interest in the world – I am curious about everything. I am always asking questions, and I find most subjects and topics fascinating. I like exploration and discovery. Venturing is within my personal and business values and coaching is all about creating awareness so change can happen. Coachees would generally be curious about change during ‘contemplation/preparation’ stage. I can use myself as an instrument here.
Strength 3: Creativity, ingenuity, and originality – Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who I am. I am never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible. I do tend to evolve marketing models to suit the business I am working with. I can use myself as an instrument here and help coachees by creating powerful open ended questions.
Strength 4: Zest, enthusiasm, and energy – Regardless of what I do, I approach it with excitement and energy. I never do anything halfway or halfheartedly. For me, life is an adventure. My friends and family say this about me. I can use myself as an instrument here. This is essential for coaching. Coachees have commended me on my enthusiasm and I won the Enthusiasm Award at Toastmasters. I hope I can transfer my enthusiasm for change to coachees during sessions.